Marriage Made in Hell

(continued - the long-suffering ending)

by Mistress Sarah and The Upholsterer

John placed his hands on Gideon's back and Gideon flinched. John gave a heavy sigh that he knew Gideon heard. "Matthew, relax! Close your eyes and think of someone that turns you on. Pretend that I'm that person."

Gideon swallowed and thought about Elizabeth Lochley. It might be easier to pretend it was her.

But all that came to his desperate mind was her acidic comments that she would make about his current situation. You’re a fucking asshole! You did WHAT with your XO?

John's hands stroked down his back, giving him a light massage.

Gideon quickly built up in his mind a tall blonde woman with lots of curves, long legs and full lips. He tried to apply that picture to the hands now caressing his neck. Failed. He tensed up again.

John thought to himself, Damn, is there no one that turns him on? Great, a nervous and frigid virginal bed partner. I hope that wine is potent enough ... John's hands continued to work Gideon's back and shoulders, regardless of what his mind was thinking. Hopefully.

Trying another tactic, Gideon tried to picture what John would have looked like if he had been a woman. A little bizarre of a choice, maybe, but he was past desperate.

Desperate? Try fucking frantic; pardon the pun. John ... Jean would have short silky black hair, half-moon eyes, angular powerful cheekbones ... damn he was making her too masculine. A sweet heart-shaped face, small fine-boned hands...

Those hands were drawing circles down his back, dipper lower and lower until they reached Gideon's ass and began kneading his cheeks. John leaned over and placed a line of kisses down Gideon's spine.

Gideon shivered. Quick ... Jean would have small but well-proportioned breasts, softly rounded hips, and an ample fresh ass...

John saw that Gideon seemed to be settling down. Now just keep picturing whomever you're thinking about. Probably Lochley. That thought gave John an unpleasant taste in his mouth. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea that Gideon had taken the blockers. He didn't want to see what his new spouse was thinking ... John forcibly concentrated his attention on pleasuring Gideon and getting this damn farce over with. He ran his fingers down the crack between his asscheeks and cupped Gideon's balls in his hand.

Gideon made an "mming" sound that might have been something positive, if it had lasted longer and had been louder.

Diminutive but shapely legs, delicate feet ... she’d be ticklish, but she’d like it when I tickled her.

Not wanting to disturb whatever fantasies in which Gideon had buried himself, John gently tugged on Gideon's hip to encourage him to roll over. Gideon rolled over easily, his eyes remaining tightly closed.

... Cute ears, full lips...

John saw to his satisfaction that the wine or something had worked since Gideon had a definite erection. He rubbed his hands up Gideon's thighs. Watching Gideon's face carefully, John stroked one finger down Gideon's erect cock. A little smile appeared on Gideon's lips. So far, so good, Matthew. Keep thinking of Liz, ok?

Gingerly, John straddled Gideon's legs and licked his hands. He began stroking Gideon's cock, starting softly but building up quickly to the firm long strokes that John always used on himself.

He slipped one hand down and began pulling and rubbing Gideon's balls.

... Warm hands, strong yet gentle hands...

John leaned forward and softly kissed Gideon's stomach, running his tongue over the trembling skin, all the time keeping his hands moving on Gideon's cock and balls.

... Soft lips, tongue like fire...

Gideon felt the edge of his climax coming and he ruthlessly pushed himself towards it. Biting his lip in a desperate attempt at keeping silent, he shot his orgasm out it in one long stream. His eyes snapped open. And instead of some beautiful woman, Gideon saw the face of his First Officer, the look in his eyes anything but passionate. Cold, calculating, and disgusted. Gideon's warm feeling shriveled and died.

Gideon turned his head away from those eyes and buried it in the pillow.

Anger burned up in John's throat. Not exactly a thank you.

John wiped his hands clean on the sheets. It's his damn fault that we're in this debacle and he doesn't even appreciate that I'm trying. He rolled off of Gideon and stared up at the ceiling, ignoring Max's plaintive requests for him to keep going.

Why should I expect appreciation? When has Matthew Gideon ever said thank you or done anything to make me think that he doesn't think my slaving to be the best damn XO ever is anything but his God-given due? John knew that he was being unfair, but years of patient servitude had led him to this rather humiliating situation and probably the end of his EarthForce career.

Gideon's thoughts were running along similar lines, but from the opposite vantagepoint. He's leaving? What am I going to do without him? The best Second anyone ever had. I never tell him how much easier he makes my life ... How much more livable ... And now he'll never listen to me again.

Gideon swallowed around a lump and forced his head to turn over and look at John. His neck muscles felt like iron and his whole body was locked with tension.

John was looking up at the ceiling; his profile set in armor. Gideon knew that he had irrevocably screwed up this time. Better get things over with so that John would never be forced to be in his company again...

"John?" his voice was creaky.

John blinked but didn't look at him.

"John, please?" Gideon tried again.

John looked at him and Gideon abruptly wished he hadn't. John's face was impassive, but his eyes burned black and angry, laying open Gideon's selfish soul to the light. Gideon could read the thoughts behind the burning eyes.

This is your entire goddamn fault, Gideon. You’ve destroyed my career and me.

Gideon winced and closed his eyes briefly. Opening his eyes, he found John's eyes hadn't wavered. He lifted one leaden hand and carefully touched John's face.

"John, please ..." he whispered softly, not wanting the others to hear. "I know that you hate me. But we are going to be in this bed until ... we do what they want."

John sighed, and he was suddenly feeling very tired. It was near impossible to stay angry with Gideon. The Captain may think of himself as a cunning cynic which he was, but John had discovered over the years that, in some ways, Gideon was still a little boy, bewildered by a capricious and malevolent universe. His hazel eyes were full of a fear, and a pain that suddenly angered John.

I fucking tried to be gentle. I tried, damn it, so don’t look at me with those Bambi- deer eyes. Don’t make me feel guilty, damn you. This is YOUR fault, Captain Courageous. NOT MINE.

"Captain," John said at last, "lay on your stomach."

Gideon was shaking, with fear, tension, emotion, everything, but he managed to turn over. He brought his arms up and rested his chin in his hands.

John slid away from Gideon, to the side of the bed. Doggedly ignoring his onlookers, John took a long swig of the spiked wine that they had thoughtfully provided and fumbled open the bottle of lubricant. Squirting a good dollop into his hand, he ducked back under the covers. He scooted back over the Gideon's side, suppressing a sigh as he saw how tense Gideon was all over again.

John leaned up against him. "Think about your fantasy woman," John whispered in Gideon's ear, but this time Gideon knew it wouldn't do any good. His fantasy woman definitely did not come equipped with a cock like the one John was pressing against his thigh.

Yeah, well…Maybe Jean would wear a strap on. No, no. She’d be stroking me with those soft gentle hands of his… hers… and she’d be gasping soft sounds of love while I nuzzled those small pert breasts of hers. I’d spend hours between his… HER… legs… kissing and teasing her while I played with her body.

Slowly, John ran the hand without the lubricant down Gideon's back. Damn, damn, damn ... John swore to himself as he immediately saw that Gideon was tensing up instead of relaxing. So much for the fantasy woman idea. If he hadn't used the goddamn blockers, I could make this easier for both of us!

John continued to run his hand down Gideon's back. Forcing his voice to be calm and soothing, he murmured, "Think of a place that you enjoy being, someplace relaxing and quiet. Like the ocean. Or your house on Earth. That's right, think of sitting on your porch, no worries at all, the rain falling down on the porch roof. You have a drink in your hand and you're watching the rain fall on the trees."

That seemed to be working, so John continued murmuring to Gideon as he rubbed his back and ass, murmuring nonsense about his porch, throwing in every detail about Gideon's house that he could remember.

While Gideon seemed to be relaxing slightly, John looked down at his own cock and realized that Gideon wasn't the only one completely turned off by the situation. He reached the hand with the lubricant down and began stroking his own cock.

Amazing thing about the human male body, even though his mind was totally disgusted by what he was doing, his body was reacting in its brainless fashion to direct stimulation. He firmly separated his brain from his physical sensations, using techniques he learned in PSI Corp to cope with torture. He almost laughed at the irony.

Soon, his cock was growing firmer and, still murmuring inanely about rain and sunlight through the trees, John took his lubricated hand and ran his fingers down Gideon's ass. Gideon shivered then seemed to settle again.

Gideon focused desperately on Jean’s…John's words and memories of peaceful mornings at his house as John began to stroke his asshole. He struggled not to tighten up against the anticipation of pain.

Looking down at Gideon, John's anger suddenly returned full force. Why, dammit, are you still being so kind and considerate of this man who has taken advantage of you in all possible ways, and will be the end of everything you've ever dreamed of? See where kindness has gotten you so far?

He stopped chattering about some stupid porch, the goddamn oak trees, the idiotic brook, and shoved his lubricated finger into Gideon's asshole. Ignoring Gideon's suppressed grunt of pain, he firmly slid his finger in and out, spreading the lubrication.

Dammit that hurts! Gideon wanted to scream. He bit down on his lip and buried his face into the pillow, half-smothering himself in an effort to stay quiet.

John briefly slid in a second finger to stretch his virgin asshole.

Then, what the Hell, John climbed on top of him, spreading Gideon's legs apart and bunching a spare pillow underneath Gideon's groin. He crouched on his knees between Gideon's legs and leaned over his back. Positioning the head of his cock at Gideon's tight asshole, he began pushing firmly.

Feeling like he was splitting open, Gideon bit his lip hard so he wouldn’t moan into the pillow. He took the excruciating pain that was running up his body from too-tense ass as his punishment. Hurt me, John, please! Hit me, beat me, and be angry! Anything, but don’t look at me with those eyes. They’re such cold distant eyes. I’d rather have you screaming at me, then face this glacial anger of yours.

John seemed to be listening, since he was taking no pains to be gentle as he drove his cock into Gideon's ass. Gideon tried to swallow his whimpers and tried to accept the pain as his due.

You've fucked up my life, John thought at Gideon, surprised by his own venom. How does it feel to be on the receiving end? I hope you feel the pain you’ve carelessly inflicted on me, damn you. He pulled his cock out and roughly pushed it back in, then repeated the movement, each time with more energy. He knew his relentless pounding was shaking the bed and he had a brief image of Max's upraised eyebrows, but then his eyes returned to a red haze.

Gideon bit into his lip, tasting blood. His fingers dug into the mattress, as he tried to stabilize himself as John slammed into him again and again.

Soon John vigorous rhythm began to build towards climax. His hands squeezed Gideon's ass, almost feeling the bruises form as he gripped tighter and tighter. Pleasure wasn't driving him, but a savage urgency. Damn. YOU. GIDEON. GOD. DAMN. YOU.

Please ... Gideon whimpered. Please ...

An animal growl swelled in John's chest and burst from his throat as he climaxed, shooting again and again with a hot burning release. Thrusting wildly, he didn’t fail to notice that Gideon was tensing up from pain, but savagely, he continued pumping for a bit. As soon as he had emptied himself, he tore back the covers and made damn sure that Max, Sarah, and the rest of his interested audience knew that he had finished his task.

Gideon could only shiver underneath him, praying for unconsciousness.

John drug the sheet back over their naked bodies and pulled himself out of Gideon's ass. He curled into a ball and rolled away from Gideon. The sound of a discharging PPG filled his ears. Wild cheering sounded from outside, and inside the room.

"Thank God! It took you long enough!" Max grumbled loudly and stomped out of the room.

John could hear Sarah come and stand by the bed. "I wish that I could wish you happiness," she said quietly and moved away.

The alien observers scuttled up to the bed and prodded and poked both men to make sure of ... John had no idea. Mercifully, their curiosity was quickly appeased and they left the room, closing the door softly behind him.

Silence grew in the room, a stark contrast to the raging party outside.

Gideon was so silent, so still, that at last John moved over to him and touched his shoulder.

After a long moment, Gideon turned his face towards him and John was horrified to see Gideon's chin was covered with blood from a torn lip. His eyes were also bloodshot, but dry, and John wasn’t sure if he was happy or not to see that Matthew hadn’t wept. Matt Gideon, resolute and strong, NEVER cried, but did Gideon even CARE that he had just destroyed his XO’s career?

Anger drained out of John and a sick sensation replaced it. Do you feel all better now, John Matheson? All freshly vindicated and powerful? You happy now that you’ve fucked him over and now he’s obviously in pain? He looked downwards, and saw that his deflated cock was also streaked with blood. You’re no better than he is; do you know that? Except you knew that you were hurting him, and you just decided to continue, because you really wanted to abuse him.

Squinting against a blistering headache, Gideon saw the nauseated look pass across John's face. He shut his eyes. I'd be sick to my stomach too if I realized that I was just married to me.

John took a corner of a sheet and carefully wiped Gideon's chin, while he damned himself for being a compassionate fool. Blood was still seeping sluggishly from his ragged lip. John bit his own lip in sympathy as he dabbed gently at the wound.

Gideon forced himself to open his eyes and look at John. There was something he needed to say, though he knew it was far too late. "I'm so sorry, John," he said, the words slurred by his swollen lip.

John didn't meet his eyes, but continued to wipe Gideon's face.

Reaching up, Gideon imprisoned John's hand and captured John's eyes with his own.

"I am truly sorry. I will make this right, John, I swear," he said softly, "I know it can never be ... the same between us, but I will make sure that this doesn't go on your record and that your transfer off the Excalibur will be a promotion, not a punishment. I swear that nothing will blacken your record, nothing!" He attempted a smile. "Maybe you'll even get your own command, especially if this works, and we can find the Cure here. You could write your own ticket in EF then, maybe even command a cruiser."

John closed his eyes and shook his head. So much like him, believing that he can fix the universe. Damn it, you can’t this time, not by promising me possible promotions and deep space cruisers. Do you have any idea what’s could happen to me over this? Jones? The court martial? And I’m doing this for ten billion people, the vast majority of which fear me and hate me for being a Teep.

"Please, John," Gideon said miserably, "I'm not asking for forgiveness or for you to ever trust me again."

Sighing, John moved away and plopped his head against the pillow, staring upwards. "You are some piece of work, Matthew Gideon. But damned if I am ever going to let you sweet talk your way out of this one."

"I wasn't --" Gideon cut himself off. Maybe he was trying to talk himself out of it, making his guilt a little more manageable. A wave of self-loathing washed over him. He turned away from John, curled up into a little ball, and wished for oblivion.

John stared at Gideon's back, overflowing with more emotions than he could name. Guilt at last won out, defeating his hate for the man, and an emotionally exhausted John said softly, "I'm sorry I hurt you. I got a little carried away."

"I deserve it," Gideon mumbled.

John gave an exasperated sigh and closed his eyes while his emotions flared again. He almost hated Gideon again at that moment, hated him for putting John in this situation that tore up his insides, muddled his mind and destroyed his emotional equilibrium. Why couldn't I have served under a standard lifetime-military jerk? Lord, why couldn’t I at least serve with an officer that had some ability at linguistics?

Quite against his better judgement, John found himself reaching over and touching Gideon's curved back. Gideon flinched as if he had been burned.

"Matthew," John whispered and Gideon's heart lurched painfully. "Are you ... okay? Should I call Dr. Chambers?"

Gideon shook his head with a quick negative. He had no desire to see that sorrow in Sarah's eyes ever again.

"You always look out for me, John," Gideon's voice was a ragged whisper, "I've never thanked you for that. You are ... were the best Second anyone has ever had."

John gave a tired laugh, "You waited long enough to tell me."

"I know."

There was silence for a long while as each man listened to the other’s breathing.

Gideon felt numb, empty, and unable to think about anything but how badly he had mishandled the entire situation.

On the other side of the bed, John was feeling old, exhausted by the constant pressure of responsibility and expectations. And one of the few friendships that he had counted on to carry him through was now ashes ... It was a painful and too late realization how much he wanted, and how he needed that friendship. That he had made it as far as he had in EarthForce because his commanding officer was someone he could believe in, not just a 'standard lifetime-military jerk'.

Damn you Matthew Gideon. You would walk through Hell to save the newest of your crew members, but you couldn't learn some simple verb conjugations for me. Damn you.

That felt really good, so he said it out loud, just to let Gideon know exactly how he felt. Just to make sure that a self-absorbed Matthew Gideon didn’t have any doubts what-so-ever about how truly pissed his much abused, Executive Officer John Matheson really was. "Damn you."

"Yes," Gideon whispered.

"Damn you, damn you, damn you!" John repeated thickly. A bubble of hysterical laughter was rising in his throat. "And damn me too." He gave a short bark of bitter laughter.

Gideon recoiled as if he had been hit and John rolled away from Matt, his back facing the other man. Matt turned gingerly unto his side, and he began to think. It took a while for both of them to fall asleep.

When I finally woke up in the morning, my "husband" had already left, no doubt to work on his planetside team roster. For some reason, I had the brief fuzzy memory that John had covered me up before he had left for his mission.

No. Doubt it. He wouldn’t have covered me up, instead he would have smothered me with a pillow. God, I hurt, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Nothing much to do today, except play houseguest with Cigi, and speak of the bitch, there she is. Sitting in a chair in my room, watching me.

"For what do I owe this unexpected honor of having you visit me in my bed chambers, Dowager?" Do you want to see the stained bed sheets, bitch- is how it came out, but damn it, I was feeling rather sore.

"The Dowager wishes to invite you for a late breaking of your fast." That was a young Pyxian, whose voice was rather musical. His accent was atrocious, but I smiled at him. He sounded young and enthusiastic, just like John had… when I had first met him… all those years ago.

Bad thought, Matt.

"Tell the honorable Dowager that I’d love to, but first I wish to make myself presentable." I glibly assured the young Pyxian.

He nodded, and hissed at her, while she smirked at me.

She hated me. That was the only reason I could think of her inviting me for a brief tour of her property. On the surface, it was an offer of a pleasant diversion, except for the fact that she wanted me to ride the perimeter of her property, and I feeling rather sore. In a way, I had been hoping that John might have a little bit of sympathy for me when we had consummated this farce, but each step reminded me that John hadn’t thought I deserved it.

Can’t blame him, as I thought I didn’t deserve it.

I smiled carefully, not displaying my "Fangs" as that would be a sign of aggression, and I nodded. "I would be honored, Dowager." I assured her. She agilely jumped into the saddle of her cha’la’something or other, a mix between a Clydesdale and a lizard while several of her grooms had to help me get into the saddle of mine. It was a snorting, pacing, fire-breathing stud, and I suddenly wondered how sore my ass would be after riding it for a while. The damn thing broke away from the grooms, and it began to buck, and gyrate, and then the damn thing threw me. There were assorted yells from the staff as the ground rose quickly to meet me.

Of course, since the universe had decided that I had really fucked up John Matheson’s life, I landed on my already sore ass.

"The Dowager asks if you need a softer saddler." That was one of the translators who had watched last night. She was the female, I think, as the male had gone to translate for John’s away party.

"No." I was still on the ground, and I wasn’t planning on getting back into the saddle. I looked at Cigi, who was smirking at me. She then vaulted out of her saddle, and walked up to dangerous brute she had tried to saddle me with. With a shriek, she grabbed his left ear and twisted. Within moments, the damn thing was kneeling on the ground, and giving me a hate-filled look.

Look. I wasn’t the one that just twisted your ear, it was Gramma Cigi, ok?

"The Dowager wishes to apologize for her staff, for their incompetence in not understanding your limited riding ability." That was the translator, Jago. Jagio? She was offering me her hand to assist me off the ground, but I refused.

I had some pride after all, and I was already the laughing stock of the entire compound, so ignoring my pain, I leapt into the saddle. It might not have been done with the same boneless grace that Cigi did, but like hell I was going to let her win this round. Kicking the damn beast beneath me, I made a mental note to keep his left ear firmly within reach at all times.

She nodded her head, and then we took off on a ground-eating gallop.

I had a lot of time to think about my marriage to John, as the majority of the group ignored me. Cigi made a few comments that Jagio translated. They were cute, bitchy comments about love and marriage bringing a spring to one’s steps, and her retainers all laughed in appreciation. I wasn’t laughing as my body was screaming in misery.

Coming to the inescapable conclusion that I had just completely destroyed John Matheson’s career, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I could make it up to him. There had to be some way, that I could solve this Gordian knot of ours. So I pondered, I thought and I just couldn’t figure out what to do besides give him the transfer that he had wanted, one that he had earned and one that I was refusing to give to him.

I enjoyed running the planetside team, as Gideon was nowhere in sight. He had been sleeping soundly when I had left … our… bed, the sheets in complete disarray as Gideon was a restless sleeper. He had tossed and turned most of the night, and had unknowingly kicked me a few times.

He had managed to get most of the blankets on the floor, also and I had been going to leave him uncovered for the maids to find, but I just hadn’t been able to do so. When he was asleep, Gideon looked a lot younger, with his tough cynical façade gone, and for a moment, I had felt… guilty about hurting him last night. Matt hadn’t protested or complained, but I knew that I had made his initiation rather painful.

Damning myself for being a compassionate fool, I had covered Matthew up. Then bracing myself, I had left the sleeping man, as I had an planetside team to run and the Cure to find.

Ok, perhaps I should be honest. I would have enjoyed running the planetside team, except for this nagging inner voice of mine that was prodding me with a red-hot iron. Yes, Gideon had really screwed things up, but I hadn’t helped the situation now, did I?


That was an understatement. I had blisters in the most embarrassing places, I was sure of it, and Cigi was politely ordering me to ride with her tomorrow.

"Love to." I said with gritted teeth.

Failing to hear my sarcasm, the Dowager then offered the services of Jagio to me. She would …wait a second… I didn’t hear what I thought she just said? No, Matt, your command of the language is quite poor. She’s to have the servants prepare a hot bath for you.

"Thank her but advise her that I will be able to do it myself."

Like hell was I going to let Jagio see me naked again, I do have some pride.

Cigi smirked, and I tried to stride manfully away from her, wondering if the raw spots would ever heal. The minute I was alone, I let myself wince with every damn step. After all, I only had myself to blame. Reaching my quarters, I was embarrassed to see that John Matheson was already back from his planetside team. He had a computer terminal running, and he was busy planning his next day’s itinerary.

Shit, I probably had to sit down, and listen to his report. He’d think it was strange if I stood up for the entire account of the survey, so I looked for something soft to sit on. Positioning myself carefully, I plopped down onto a large, soft pillow, and I put my feet up on the table. I was hoping that John would be fooled by my devil-may-care attitude. One would never think that inside I was screaming in pain, not after that graceful maneuver, eh?

He barely looked in my direction, and inwardly I berated myself again for getting John involved with this.

"What did you find?" I asked, trying to be the redoubtable Captain Gideon, Savior of Humanity.

"A few odds and ends. There’s quite of places that Cigi recommended that we search, so we could be here for… " He glanced at me, and then looked away, but not before I saw the smoldering, fire in his eyes. "Weeks, maybe longer."

"Weeks?" I whined as the redoubtable savior of Humanity had decided to escape the proverbial coop after that look of promised retribution in his XO’s eyes, leaving the Cowardly Lion in his place.

"Maybe longer. And Cigi’s having a party for us tonight. Get dressed, Gideon."

"Party?" How the hell could I go to a party when I couldn’t sit down?

"It’s a small affair. Max, Sarah, you, me, the translators and a few other Pyxians."

Matthew seemed to be in a great deal of pain, but I was trying to ignore it. He had a woebegone look on his face and a general attitude as though he was the one being misused. My translator had commented that the Dowager had taken a shine to Matt, and was showing him about her property on the native equivalent of a horse. It was apparent to me that Matthew hadn’t ridden a horse in a while, as he was in a lot of pain.

Stiffly, he got dressed in his best uniform, and the two of us walked to the dining room where he seemed rather flustered when he realized that there was no cushion on his chair. The Dowager rated one as she was quite advanced in years, in spite of being the picture of good health.

Ok- I’ll admit it, I was rather enjoying his discomfort, especially when Matt kept looking longingly at the pillow.

We had a wonderful conversation at the dinner, Cigi asking me about what prospects the sites had, and what Sarah and Max thought of it. Apparently both Max and Sarah thought there was a strong possibility that some good would come of our stop here. Talking until the wee hours of the morning, I found myself enjoying the conversation and the dinner, while I noticed that Matthew was strangely subdued and not eating or drinking.

It was the fourth day of my marriage to Gideon, and he had taken to going to bed after I was asleep and then sleeping until after I left for the day. I didn’t really mind, except for the fact that all the Pyxians appeared to be quite interested in my sex life. Glibly I assured them that everything was fine. It was, as Captain Courageous was over in his side of the bed, I was on mine, and there was a gap between us that equaled some of the canyons on Mars.

Then Cigi called me to her office.

"Honorable grandmother." I spoke to her in her language, as Max had drilled some of it into my head. For some reason, Cigi liked me a great deal, and I was determined not to screw it up. Else she’d tie me to a stake in the front of her house and have her servants flog me. I had a mental image of her ordering it done while she also commanded her staff to set up chairs and tables for her guests.

"Light of my world," she responded in kind. Pleasantries exchanged, she then proceeded to talk to me and get my head spinning. Bluntly, she wanted to know, was there a problem with my marriage to Gideon? For she had noticed that we were not celebrating our marriage. In her concern, she had instructed the staff to copiously drug Matt’s food with the stuff that was in the wedding wine and it still hadn’t work.

Was my honor being tarnished?

No, I assured her, my honor was fine.

Did she need to kill Gideon?

While that would have solved my problems quickly, I wisely decided that it wasn’t the acceptable solution to my current dilemma.

As my grandmother, she would be willing to talk to Gideon about his… problem but she didn’t wish to embarrass me by butting in. It took me a moment to translate that from Pyxian to Standard, and my heart sank. She wanted to know why we weren’t knocking our boots together.

"Honored grandmother," I answered. "He is concerned that if we celebrate our marriage too often, then I will not be in the mental state needed to concentrate on running my planetside team. Therefore, we are sacrificing our marital joy together, so we might be able to focus on our search for the Cure."

She gave me a look that plainly said that she knew I was bullshitting her, and then she suggested that perhaps I shouldn’t be so solemn, and to enjoy the fact that my spouse obviously desired me. "For desire soon shall pass."

You don’t know how fast it will pass in this case, Cigi. Try two minutes outta orbit.

"And you should enjoy it while it now. Celebrate, be joyous!"

Then she had left while I had returned to my quarters. I had found Gideon in bed already, pretending that he was asleep, while using a pillow to shield his groin. I had mentally growled, and then stripped. Ripping the pillow away from him, I felt Gideon move quickly to hide what it had concealed. One quick look confirmed what I had feared, Gideon was ready for a repeat of the honeymoon night.

"She drugged you, didn’t she?" I growled.

He nodded. "Everything’s laced. The drinking water, the food… everything." Matt moved his hands again, to try and hide the blatantly obvious. "Since that damn dinner party she had, it’s been in everything."

"Couldn’t you tell me?" I sighed, having this overwhelming desire to hit Gideon a few times.

He flushed crimson, and shook his head.

"On your back, Gideon." I ordered, while pretending to be really excited as apparently Cigi had spies keeping an eye on the two of us. "Looks like we’ll have to keep the pretense up, even in here. If Sarah and Max weren’t so excited about the stuff they were finding, I wouldn’t even think of doing this. They’re thinking that they might have found some sort of treatment that might be able to delay dying from the plague."

Then I seduced him, aggressively, and not very compassionately, I’m ashamed to admit, as I wanted it over with as quickly as possible. That done, I decided to seduce him a few more times, so that the spies would be impressed with my sexual stamina. Cigi was right, the next day, I was clear-headed and resolute as I led the away-team but Matt looked like he felt a little tender. We had continued the pretense afterwards, with me being the dominant partner in the seductions. Matt didn’t initiate a damn thing, he just lay on his back, with his hard-on waving in the breeze, so I had to do everything. It got to be a game after a while, Matt whispering how sorry he was, while I tried to see how quickly I could get him to respond. After a few nights together, I learned his arousal spots, and I teased them unmercifully.

Yet Matt climaxed quietly, no matter how hard I tried. A quick intake of breath, and then it would be over.

Come on, Gideon, we’ve got Cigi’s kinsmen watching here, don’t you want me to get a favorable report card? Then our next time together found me trying to slow down the pace down a little just so…

Enough. John Matheson, snap out of it!

Somehow in spite of my best efforts, I was feeling sorry for Gideon. This compassion for Gideon was scaring me, as it meant that I was no longer quite so concerned about my ass and instead I was once again focusing on his problems. Fuck, Gideon! He didn’t have to be worried about being kicked out of EF with a dishonorable discharge like I did.

He didn’t have to worry about failing his people…

Yes, he did. He had to live with the responsibility of ten billion people’s lives, and sometimes when he looked at me with those scared eyes of his…. I found myself feeling sorry for the bastard.

I shouldn’t be feeling sorry for him, and I certainly shouldn’t be trying to as gentle as possible when I fucked him. No, I shouldn’t be proud of the fact that now, Matthew Gideon wasn’t tensing up whenever I penetrated him, but instead, he seemed to be relaxed and trustful of what I was doing. Nor should I let him lie next to me in bed and let the heat radiating from his body warm me.

Don’t feel sorry for him, John. It’s HIS fault.

Then why the hell did I want nothing more than to curl up next to him?

The fantasy woman idea hadn’t worked the first night, and each time it got harder and harder to fantasize that the person seducing me was female. No, the stubble on his cheek was most assuredly John’s, the cologne his, and I began to worry even more. To my chagrin, I found myself almost looking forward to his seductions, for underneath the innocent exterior lurked a rather lusty Casanova. Each time he seduced me, it got harder and harder for me to remember to keep silent as I didn’t want John to know that secretly… I was enjoying this.

I hoped that he didn’t notice how I no longer tensed up when he touched me.

Three weeks later.

Matthew was having another nightmare. He had them like clockwork, every few days or so, ending up usually kicking and thrashing in his sleep, muttering something too faint for me to catch, but tonight was the first night that he had the dreams repeatedly. Tonight, I had jarred him awake after he started thrashing, and then he had dropped back into a quieter sleep which was then quickly interrupted by a return of his night terrors.

Tonight he had kicked me several times, and he was now, once again, moaning softly. No doubt he was planning on how I was going to kill him, so I elbowed him again. He settled right down, and I was grateful, as I was tired of him beating me black and blue.

Go to sleep, Matt. Stop kicking me, damn it!

He kept kicking me, I kept jabbing him, and finally Matt drifted off into a deep sleep. Now instead of kicking me, he was lightly snoring which made it difficult for me to sleep. I was tempted to put a pillow over his head, but that probably would be make matters even worse. I’d end up on Planet Leavenworth if I suffocated my CO, in spite of the fact that he deserved it.

After a few hours of listening to Matthew’s restless sleep, I finally was drifting off to sleep…

It was a nightmare that was becoming all too familiar to me. I knew it was a dream, but I still couldn’t wake from it. I was sitting in the captain’s chair of the Cerebus, and I knew how wrong that was. Screaming, I still couldn’t wake myself from this dream.

I shouldn’t be in the Captain’s chair, nor should I be wearing Captain’s bars. I should be walking in right about now, with a bmf PPG rifle in hand, wearing armor, and the Captain should be sending me outside in just a few moments.

The door opened, and in walked … John Matheson. He looked damn young, younger than I had ever remember seeing him, and suddenly I found myself ordering him to go outside. This vision of John looking so young and so scared, nodded his head, and ran out of the room. Suddenly, I wondered if my old Captain had felt grief that when the chance had been available to save the crew of the Cerebus he had made the decision to leave me to die?

Did he regret abandoning me in the depths of space, leaving me adrift while he ran like hell?

Did it bother him, in the slightest, in those brief moments before he died, that he had betrayed that sacred trust between Captain and crew?

Just like I had carelessly done with John?

I felt like screaming in denial, but secretly, I knew. I was no better than my former Captain who had tried to escape, leaving me outside to die. No matter how I tried to deny it, I was guilty of the same thing that my former captain had done to me.

"It’s alright." His voice was soft in the darkness. "It was a nightmare, nothing more."

I was still shivering, and I was moderately stunned when I felt him move closer to me. He was warm against me, and John began gently murmuring soft sounds of nonsense, while his hands gently held me. Keeping my eyes firmly closed, I finally admitted to myself that John Matheson touching me was what caused my body to respond. It wasn’t the drugs nor was it ‘do it for Earth’. Biting back a bitter laugh, I tried not to think about how Cigi’s retainers hadn’t drugged me in weeks.

God, I wonder… what it would be like if he actually kissed me? Soft lips, tongue of fire…

I’d never know about those soft lips or his tongue of fire, for John flatly refused to kiss me on the lips. He had his limits after all, and this entire episode had caused him to warp past them. Instead, he only used his hands on me, stroking, touching and caressing while I trembled. Actually, wrong again, Matt. John used his hands to get me to respond as quickly as possible while I stared at the ceiling fan overhead. That accomplished, he then took his own pleasure, rapidly, and then he fell asleep straightaway, while I found myself longing for …more.

Sometimes, when I was alone in our quarters, I daydreamed about kissing John and how I’d love a chance to explore his body by using taste, touch and sight. In spite of our nightly sessions together, I never really looked at John’s naked body, as I hadn’t wanted to further embarrass John by obviously checking him out. The little bit I had allowed myself to look at had been lean and muscular. What would it be like to be inside John? I’d be gentle with him, savoring and relishing my chance…

Enough, MATT.

Or … what would it be like to lie next to him, teasing and sucking that magnificent cock of his while he squirmed underneath me? I had never looked at John quite that way before, but now, I was yearning for more. Those black jumpsuits…

No, Matthew.

Ok, more physical contact would never occur between us, but I hungered for more. Maybe, a little pillow talk would be nice, I guess but the two of us rarely talked about anything besides what discoveries the survey team had made.

I certainly couldn’t tell him that I was enjoying our nights together or that I found it difficult to let him do all the work. There were moments when only by sheer force of will that I was prevented from becoming more assertive in our lovemaking.

Matt, it’s not lovemaking.

Damn, it’s hard to accept that especially with him holding me so tight. His groin was right next to my ass, and I suddenly hoped that he’d stay in that position, until it progressed further. But it wouldn’t develop further, because John viewed me as his Commanding Officer, first and foremost and until that changed, I doubted that John would ever be willing to take it further.

"Same one?"

"Y-yes." That’s all I would admit to him, as since our little adventure had started, my nightmares had taken a new turn in which I casually destroyed John over and over again to save my sorry ass. Not if I could help it, and I hoped that what I had finally decided on would save his career. It would end my career in EF, but it was my responsibility that this had happened, and therefore I would pay the price, willingly. I would not cast John aside nor abandon him.

Please, God? If you’re out there, I really owe John. Please? Let my plan work. Please? I’m doing this willingly, but it would make it easier for me, if John would finally forgive me.

"Go back to sleep, Matt."

I wanted to, hoping that for the remainder of tonight John would hold me tightly so that the nightmares would stay away. I hated the dreams that came and robbed me of my sleep, for in each and every one of them I destroyed John Matheson. I shivered again, and he moved closer to me.

"What is it?" he asked me.

"I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You believe me, don’t you?" I kept mumbling that repeatedly, in the hopes that he’d at last believe my sincerity. "I swear to you that I never meant this to happen. Believe me?"

"I know. I know." For whatever reason, John suddenly gave me the first real smile in weeks. "It’s ok, Matthew. I know you didn’t mean this to happen."

"You’re a better man that I am." I admitted that softly in a suspiciously shaky voice. I think he’s forgiven me, finally. Thank you, John. It’ll be worth it as it will be a fair exchange for me. My career for yours.

"No. I’m not, I’m just a far better linguist that you can ever hope to be." John teased me.

"John…" My voice broke, and then I flinched in embarrassment. "Forgive me?"

"Matthew…" he gave me a tender smile, and then he touched my face.

I closed my eyes, and then I was surprised to feel him moving closer to me. I have no idea who initiated it, but suddenly John’s and my lips met. It was a gentle kiss, a mere brushing of our lips, and suddenly we began kissing in earnest. He pushed me on my back while I tried to protest our position. No doubt it was tiring for John to be constantly in charge, and I broke away from our kiss to complain.

"No. Let me." John smiled a rather odd smile at me.

The two of us started kissing again, our tongues hesitantly touching. John’s lips were gentle on mine. Soft, warm, better than any daydream.

Please don't let this turn into a nightmare.

John's finger touched my cheek, stroking it carefully. I reached up and placed my hands on both sides of his beautiful face, the lightest of touches. I didn't want him to feel trapped.

I was trembling, terrified that he would stop and pull away, his eyes burning with hate once again. Instead, he deepened the kiss, devouring my lips and tongue. This touch, this kiss, was far more intimate than any of the other supposedly greater intimacies that John and I had already experienced. It was almost as he if had been yearning for this also …

Without breaking our connection, John lay down until his body was full length on top of mine. Every point of contact began to tingle.

His tongue was the sweet flame I imagined, burning through my senses. I dug my fingers into his soft hair and pulled his lips even tighter against mine. I wanted the kiss to last forever. I was focused on his mouth, but the rest of my body was starting to send me signals as well.

I could feel the warmth of his chest against mine, the tickle of his nipples against my skin. Lower down I could feel ... God, yes ... his cock rubbing against mine. We were joined shoulder to thigh, John moving slightly on top of me as he continued to suck my lips and tongue. My head was pounding, John's breath loud in my ears. Cautiously, I moved my hands to his shoulders, kneading his firm muscles. He responded by stroking his hands down my neck and the sides of my chest. I shivered as his touch shifted between tickling and caressing. His touch was soft, almost tender, a far cry from the cold machine that ruthlessly fucked me every night. I drank in his tenderness like a thirsty man drinking water.

John pressed a kiss on the corners of my lips, then on my nose and eyelids and cheeks. He moved down to briefly suck on my left earlobe and then his lips were back on mine as if he could not get enough of them.

His hands ran farther down my body, his fingers digging into the mattress as he pulled my ass up against his groin. I stroked his heated skin wherever I could reach. My erection was throbbing against his.

One of John's hands slipped out from underneath me and burrowed in between us, gripping both of our cocks together. I whimpered against his lips as he stroked our cocks as one. His thumb rubbed the head of my cock, making wide sensuous circles.

I could feel my climax coming, and I held back desperately, not wanting him to have any reason to stop touching me. I sucked on his lower lip, my hands caressing his back, his neck, his ass. His free hand was kneading my ass. His lips still feverishly devoured mine.

Then John did something that surprised me more than anything else. He pulled his hand away from our cocks, giving us both a chance to catch our breath. For the first time, he wasn't deliberately pushing himself or me towards orgasm. Maybe, maybe, he was touching me because he wanted to. Not for Earth, not for duty, but because he wanted to. A fierce hope blossomed in my chest.

John, John, John ... Please understand…

Boldly, I explored his back with my fingers as my tongue explored his mouth. I wanted so much to break from the kiss and taste his eyes, his neck, his skin, but I was afraid that he wouldn't let me kiss him again. My fingers had to do the wandering, discovering the silkiness of his hair, tracing the curve of his ears. I moved lower, running my hands over the firm swell of his ass.

John's hands were as busy, touching and caressing every inch of my skin that he could reach. He skimmed lightly over the areas he already knew were my arousal points, concentrating on places like my upper arms and jawline, places that he had never really touched during our previous counterfeit efforts at lovemaking.

I ran the flat of my palms down the sides of his ribcage, feeling his lean, muscular frame. My ankles twined around his, pulling his hips closer against mine.

My whole body was warm and pulsing. I was finally allowing myself to feel the arousal, to acknowledge the fiery desire that John's body had awoken in me. I tried to tell him everything with my mouth and hands, the only outlets he allowed me...

At last, John's hand slid back between us, and began to again stroke our cocks together. My climax rose like a great wave, a slow round wave of pleasure rising in my cock, so different than the spiky almost painful climaxes that John had driven me to before.

I could feel his breathing quicken against my lips and his strokes intensify. We were going to climax together, our bodies joined as one breath and one heartbeat.

For you, John ... please understand ... I did it for you...

Our orgasms erupted as one and I cried out into his mouth, meaningless sounds of passion and release. Something that felt like a tear leaked out of my right eye and slid down the side of my face.

The still, silent man was lying on top me, and I suddenly feared how what just happened would warp our relationship still further. I began stroking his hair, fiercely murmuring that every thing was going to be all right. It would be… it just had to be…

Continuing to run my hand over his buzz cut, I suddenly felt his body shift.

No. Don’t leave now, John, please?

"No." I whispered. "Stay. It’s… cold."

He nodded his head, and the two of us moved closer together, pretending that we were cold. Meanwhile, I continued to stroke his hair while the ceiling fan continued turning overhead. If I really wanted, I could have turned it off, but for now, I was quite content, to lie in bed with John Matheson in my arms and enjoy the strong mix of emotions racing through my body. Protectiveness, concern… mixed with… love?

Did I love John? There was no doubt in my mind, that I cared deeply for John, but…was it love?

That was a heavy thought that needed to be examined in solitude during the harsh, bright light of day, not in the soft, warm darkness while we were lying entwined among soft, disheveled sheets. But it led to another question that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know the answer.

Did John… love me?

We were lying in the afterglow, and I was stunned by what had just happened between us. I was lying on Matthew’s chest, and he was hesitantly stroking my hair, while promising me that everything would be all right. It was never going to be all right again, as I knew that the two of us had reached a point of no return, and now there could be no turning back for either one of us. There was no doubt about it, I had just … made love… with my commanding officer. He was quiet for a bit, and then he cleared his throat. Moving my head to look at him, I hoped that whatever he was going to say wasn’t going to ruin the mood.

For now, just let me lie here in your arms, resting my head on your chest. Please allow me the chance to pretend that both of us aren’t in EF and that you aren’t my superior officer. Let me delude myself that tonight was our first time together, and that the last three weeks of embarrassment and pain hadn’t occurred for either one of us.

Concentrating, I could hear his heart beat. It was a steady, comforting sound, and I tried to focus on it while Matthew continued stroking my hair.

"I need you to promise me something. I’ve figured out how I can save your career, but I need you to promise me that you’ll do something for me before I tell you how I’m going to finagle it." My lover’s voice was strangely subdued.

"Matthew…" Suddenly, I knew that whatever he was going to say wasn’t just going to ruin the mood, it was going to bomb it back to the Stone Age. Moving my body away from his, I rolled on my side, so I could look directly into his eye.

Damn it. He looked sincere and intense, which from my person experience, was a very bad combination.

"PROMISE ME. I don’t deserve your trust, not after I blew this, but I need you to promise that you’ll fulfill a promise I made. I can’t break every promise I’ve ever made."

I debated for a moment, and then I agreed. "Agreed. What do you want me to do."

"Find out who killed the crew of the Cerebus for me. Avenge them."

For all these years, he had carried on his one-man mission against the universe, and now he was turning it over to me. "WHAT?" I yelped.

"I’ve already submitted my resignation, effective the day before we stepped foot on this planet. I’m not your superior officer anymore. They can’t court martial you for this, because I am technically a civilian." He gave me a hopeful smile.


A few days previously, I had decided to resign and pre-date my resignation so that during this entire incident, I was technically a civilian. It was a legal trick, nothing more, in a vain attempt at keeping John Matheson’s career on the straight and narrow. He looked stunned, and then John turned furious. The younger man jumped out of bed, and began yelling at me while he was putting his clothes on.

Come on, John. I did this for you, it was the only way I could think of protecting you.

He cursed me out, ferociously, and shell-shocked by his intense reaction, I took it for a bit, until I got pissed enough to get out of bed. "What the hell is your problem? I’m trying to save your fucking career here, Matheson."

We argued for a bit, and then I began backing him into a corner. John didn’t realize what I was doing, until he was firmly in the corner, with me barring his escape route. He tried to push pass me and I grabbed his arms, twisting them to his side.

"Have you calmed down?" I growled. "Cigi’s guards are probably all over the damn place right now, wondering what the hell is going on."

"Tell them that the newlyweds are having a spat. Why the hell did you do it?" He snarled, our face separated by mere inches.

"Because I had to, damn it. I screwed things up, and it was the only way to solve it. I did it, because I had to, and most importantly, I did it because I wanted to." I spoke to John intently, as my anger had faded, to be replaced by something… similar but not quite. It was amazing how often anger led to passion, and passion to anger. No doubt because each of them were rather intense emotions.

"Do you always do whatever you want to, damn the consequences?" John’s voice was somber, but his eyes seemed to be amused.

"Not always." I admitted.

"And what, pray tell, has Captain Courageous ever not done whatever he wants to do?"

"This." I then kissed him awkwardly on his lips, unsure if John was going to push me away. I found my first conscious attempt at seducing John was quite similar to kissing a woman, except for the fact that John wasn’t responding. Breaking apart, I looked at him, trying to gauge his mood, and I hesitantly kissed him again

"Captain…" John’s voice sounded strained.

"MATTHEW." I growled, as I began kissing the other side of his neck, delighting in the taste of his skin. God, I could eat him right now. RAW. It was an incredible idea, I wanted to start kissing a trail down his chest, and I was grateful that John hadn’t managed to button his shirt just yet. I would ignore his nipples except for a brief kiss on each of them, as there was time for them later. What I really wanted to do…


His voice sounded plaintive, and I suddenly stopped.

Matt had just casually told me that he had resigned, and now he was trying to seduce me. My head reeling from all this information, I did the only correct thing. I pushed him away from me, and then cursed him out.

His hesitant smile faded from his face, as he comprehended that I was, once again, really pissed at him. Then I walked out, ignoring his rather tentative voice.

"John? I did this to save your career and your reputation."

For once, something was going my way, as I had manage to button my shirt before I ran into Sarah Chambers, who was sitting in the Dowager’s greenhouse. Fortunately she had been so busy with the away eam that she and I hadn’t seen that much of each other after the most humiliating moments of my life. After all, she had seen everything there was to see of me during the wedding ceremony. She gave me a searching look, and then decided not to say anything, probably because I looked angry.

It was the first time I had ever been in the garden, and the rich arboretum around me surprised me.

"She puts a lot of effort into it." Sarah said. "But then again to obtain anything of value, you usually have to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it."

I grunted a comment to her, and I decided to stay. I wasn’t in the mood for Pyxians right now, and I certainly wasn’t up to sparring with Cigi. Pounding my hands together, I tried to calm myself down. It was amazing that Gideon was able to get me that crazy so often in the past month. Serenity. Peace. A brief flash of Matthew who was calling my name out loudly. No. NO. Serenity. Calm. Peace.

Sarah was watching me, and at last she came over to sit next to me. I nodded an acknowledgement, and she then softly asked, "What’s the problem?"


"Your husband?"

Smiling, she tried to take the sting out of her words, but my temper flared. Shooting her a look of pure evil, I immediately felt bad. Sarah had done the best she could with the two of us and probably was willing to just wash her hands of the both of us.

"He resigned." My tone was flat, as I was trying to be unemotional.

"What?" The doctor looked startled and then she looked at me intently. "He…RESIGNED?"

"His commission. He’s a civilian now. He thought it might save my career from this mess."


The two of sat together for a while, in silence, Sarah obviously waiting for me to say something. Finally, I did. "It’s his life, Sarah, and it’s his identity. Matthew Gideon, Captain Courageous, savior of humanity in his trusty ship, the Excalibur, flying throughout the stars searching for the CURE."

"It’s not all he is, John, and you, of all people, should know that." Her soft voice chided me for my lack of faith in Gideon. "He’s got the typical survivor’s guilt, that for some reason, he’s alive and the others from the Cerebus died. Since then he’s done everything he can to protect his crew and his people. Dureena was recently commenting about how Gideon never leaves anyone behind. Did you think that he’d leave you to hang for this?"

"In a way, yes. But… Sarah, he’s giving up everything he values for me. Sarah, it’s his life."

Everything, including that one thing that matter the most to him. Find out who killed the crew of the Cerebus for me. Avenge them. He had requested that of me, and I had promised to do so.

"No greater love." Sarah whispered.

"Pardon? I didn’t catch that."

"Man hath no greater love…" She cited. "You know the quote, I see. I hope at least, you appreciated what he was doing for you." The doctor stood up, brushing the dirt off her pants. "This place is amazing, isn’t it? Barren, hotter than hell, and yet the Dowager has a greenhouse full of green and living things. People have a tendency of surprising you, John, and now, I better leave you with your thoughts. ‘Night John."

I don’t want this expensive gift you had given me, Matthew. The blood price was far too high, and yet you paid it willingly. You gave up your career for me, and you even gave up your search for the killers of the Cerebus crew. ‘John? I did this to save your career and your reputation.’ You had told me, but no where do I remember asking you to give up everything for me. The most I wanted was for you to grow up, and take responsibility for your actions, but never… NEVER… did I think that you’d do something this drastic.

No one else would have done this for me. The majority of my fellow Telepaths, who I had been so concerned about this incident destroying their hard-won gains, would have willingly destroyed me for having sex with a Mundane. Those in EF who disliked Teeps would have been glad to use this incident to destroy me. I had raged and fought with Matthew over how his carelessness would affect others, and me… and Matthew had decided to cover for me as best as he could.

Damn it, Matthew. You always did this to me, driving me crazy with how I always had to be the one to clean up after your disasters, and then with a random act of largesse, would have me willing to follow you into Hell.

There was only one thing I could do, and I suddenly knew what I had to do. Truly, it was the only option that had been available to me since this entire fiasco had started.

That was my doom, that my loyalty would be given, heart, soul and body to a Mundane Starship Captain.

I flipped over my wrist communicator. "I need a shuttle to return to the Excalibur," I ordered.

Mentally, I began hitting myself in the head with a brick. Whatever I did or said to John lately, seemed to get him more and more annoyed with me. First the wrong verb, then the marriage, the honeymoon, and now this.

He had been absolutely furious with me, and I suddenly wished that I had kept my mouth shut. We could have still been lying together in post-coital bliss, and instead, I had to open my mouth, tell him that I had quit EF, and then get verbally abused and screamed at by a rather irate John Matheson.

You can’t win, Matt, I assured myself. Somewhere up there in the heavens, there is a big book with your name on it, which says in big black letters, "Matthew Gideon is not allowed to WIN."

Pulling the covers back over me, I wondered what Cigi was making of our little lovers’ spat.

The com-link went off loudly, and I suddenly wondered when I had fallen asleep.

"Captain Gideon!" announced an authoritative female voice somewhere in the vicinity of my hand. The voice had a strong, though pleasant European accent, and I was wondering who she was.

"Voice only." I was grateful that there were a few things that I could do automatically, such as ordering voice-only communications when I was stark naked. "Gideon here."

"Gen. Santiago here. What the hell is going on there?" The female voice crackled in my ear, and I tried to remember how far exactly Suzanne Santiago was up in the food chain. Five-star general, I seem to remember.

"Gen. Santiago, I’m afraid I’m at a disadvantage here. What are you talking about?" What was she talking about?

"What in the names of the 57 gods in the Centauri Pantheon are you people doing down there? I have resignation requests coming in from your staff like we’re having a two for one special."

For a moment, I was tempted to correct her on the exact number of Gods in the Centauri Pantheon, but the words ‘resignation requests’ caught my attention.

"Beg pardon?"

"RESIGNATION REQUESTS! What the hell is going on there? I’ve got resignation requests from you and your XO with a rumor that Chambers is going to resign. Mattie, What the FUCK is going on down there? All we’ve been getting is nice, happy reports from your staff that have been increasing the morale of all the dying Terrans on the home world. Everything has been fairly optimistic about Chamber’s discovery of that treatment plan that might… just… might extend the life expectancy of a Plague victim. Then, will you kindly explain to me, why the hell everyone’s RESIGNING? I don’t need this crisis right now, Mattie. I’ve got crisis after crisis booked until next year. Expect me in two days, and you better have a goddamn good explanation for this. Santiago OUT!"

Santiago arrived early, which didn’t surprise me. John and I hadn’t really spoken to one another after we had both tendered our resignations and Chambers was suspiciously quiet also.

Mentally, I winced as I saw that there was a Telepath with Santiago, and John suddenly turned really pale. Suzanne was a short thin female with dark eyes, the type of woman that usually fooled people into thinking she was a really nice compassionate person. That was until you got on the wrong side of her, and she turned you into fish bait with a keen, biting comment in her cultured, accented voice.

"You!" She pointed at Matheson, "First! Then Chambers, then Gideon. One at a time."

"There’s something fishy going on here, which I don’t particularly like right now as it’s giving me a migraine. Scan him." She snapped that at the tall female ‘Path next to her.

"Of course, General." She nodded her head to me, and I returned the salute. "I am Jones."

I am Azrael. Her mental voice was soft in my mind, offering me that simple courtesy of knowing who was scanning my mind. Some Joneses offered you the courtesy of at least letting you know who was mentally raping you while others did not. It did not mean that they went easier on you; oftentimes they were far harsher than the Joneses who simply did their scans, because they held Telepaths to a standard higher than EF ever did. They offered you the courtesy of their name simply because one never mind raped another Telepath even if the Telepath in question was being questioned for violating rules. Lower your shields, so that I may scan you.

And I am John. I answered.

Now. What is going on here, John?

Nothing. I swear it was nothing. We did no wrong, broke no rules governing Telepaths and Mundanes. I swear it. I never scanned Gideon, never felt his mind. Why are you here? Why?

Then why is everyone resigning? The General is deeply concerned that something has happened that wasn’t on the up and up, which is why she’s trying to figure out why Gideon resigned. She’s worried that he might have done so out of a sense of loyalty to you, perhaps. But why did the doctor also offer her resignation? What did the three of you do? What rules did you break?

I don’t know. Why don’t you ask her?

We will. Now, relax.

I tried, and she began rummaging through my mind. I had learned a few tricks through my years in the Psi Corps, and I tried them all. Az was entirely too strong for me, and she was soon rifling through the most personal of memories. Soon, I was holding onto the memory of my wedding with tooth and nail, trying to keep it from her.

Tsk. Tsk. Little issues, nothing to resign for…. What? You MARRIED HIM? He’s a MUNDANE! You consummated the marriage? In PUBLIC! In front of the DOCTOR!!! THE LINGUIST?!?!? Ahhhh… that’s why she’s resigning. Now, tell me why you did this… abomination.

The taste of her disapproval came through clearly in my mind. I sent her everything, trying to explain.

CALM DOWN! YOU’RE PANICKING! FIND YOUR CENTER, BOY! Don’t let the fear of Santiago overwhelm you! So…The dowager was going to kick you off the planet? Because Gideon used the … wrong verb? So… you did this… to save… the life of your fellow Telepaths on Earth, as you believed that the chance for the Cure outweighed being married to him.

I didn’t say anything, as it wasn’t the complete truth, but it was still… part of the truth.

You’re resigning because you two broke the rules forbidding this. Ahhh,.. The doctor is resigning as she witnessed the incident. Honorable, that is, though foolish, for we need her skills.

She broke our mental contact quickly after that. "General," she spoke quietly. "Apparently Gideon and Matheson are resigning because they broke a few rules down here."

"What ones? Did they murder, rape, pillage or burn the natives out of their homes?" The General appeared weary as though she was exhausted from racing around the galaxy putting out fires.

"No, General. They got married to one another."

"That’s a new one." Santiago looked at Az, and sighed. "Why?"

"Apparently Gideon unintentionally offended the hostess with the use of the incorrect verb, so she made them get married to protect John’s honor. Fearing that refusal to do so would prevent them from the opportunity to examine the planet, they agree to that stupidity. The dowager was most insistent on it."

"Wonderful. Did they consummate it?"

Az gave me a searching look, which Santiago mirrored. I found my face warm, and I was wondering if I looked at guilty as I felt.


My heart sank.

"In a matter of speaking. Apparently, Gideon danced around Matheson for a bit. Blabbered like a fool, I believe. Boom-chaka-laka? Nothing else." Azrael spoke firmly, brooking no contradiction of her scan.

"Oh god, Memoirs of a Space Goddess. He must have read the book." Santiago smirked.

"Madam?" Azrael looked at Santiago in concern.

"The unofficial biography of Susan Ivanova. I have to let you view the crystal. To settle a treaty, Ivanova danced around an alien ambassador. It’s rather… funny. So that’s it? They got married? Gideon danced? Nothing else?"

"Nothing." Azrael smiled slightly. "Nothing at all. The two of them, and the doctor were fearful of what damage to Telepath-Mundanes relations would occur if news of this got out. They decided on their own to resign to prevent any rumors this incident from spreading." I do this for you, only because I have family on Earth. I will teach you to hide these memories from the Jones that you will face.

Thank you.

"Dismissed. Now call Chambers and then Gideon."


"I need to talk to all three of them, then I make my decision if a rule violation has occurred. That’s why I’m the General, and he’s the Lieutenant."

Oh Shit. She didn’t believe. Az and I echoed.

I was called in after Chambers. John hadn’t said anything to me, but I hadn’t expected him to do so.

"Az. You can leave." Santiago’s soft voice was a crisp order, and the female Telepath looked stunned.

Hmmm…she must know that I’m still on the blockers so a deep scan would be futile. Perhaps Sarah mentioned that in the hopes of some clemency for John?

"No doubt you and John will want to ‘path about Telepathic issues about control, ethics, that type of stuff Go." She ordered the Telepath out of the room easily.

The door opened and closed quickly, and soon she and I were the only ones standing in the room.

"Sit." She ordered.

I did so, wondering what was going to happen.

"I got Az’s report, Matheson’s and Chamber’s. Now. I will speak bluntly. You and Matheson pretty much obliterated all the conduct rules between EF officers with this allegedly faked marriage of yours. I know you did a little more than dancing with him."

"Madam?" My voice sounded innocent, perfectly innocent which didn’t fool her one damn bit.

"Az didn’t report it, nor did the rest, but I’m not stupid. I’m a general, but not stupid. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for the fact that Chambers has developed that gene therapy based on whatever she found in this sandpit, I’d gladly courtmartial both of you. But, for the good of Earth, I’m going to ignore it."

Flashing me a fake smile, her eyes were far from amused.

"I will write an official permission note excusing you from whatever rules of military conduct have been broken here as long as you didn’t violate any of EF rules regarding aliens contact. Did you?"

"No. Not a one." I assured her rapidly.

"You didn’t participate in some sort of ménage a trios with the Dowager did you?"

"No, Madam. I did not." I assured her that far too quickly, as Santiago wasn’t convinced of my sincerity and honesty. God! Matheson and Cigi in the same bed? They’d probably tie me to the ceiling fan and whip me for kicks!

"I’ll check on that, but apparently most of your crew thinks that you’re spending time on this sand-pit as a vacation break? So, you’ve had very little contact with the crew, so only you, Sarah and John know about this alleged marriage of yours?"

I nodded, not wanting to mention Max.

"Thank god for small favors. You’re to keep your mouth shut, and keep your hostess happy until you’re off the planet. But once off this planet, if you and that XO of yours steps the slightest bit out of line, you might not be so lucky. Dismissed! Tell Az to get back in the room, as I’ve got to ream her out for lying to me."

I stood up to leave the room at light speed, and then she stopped me. "Be here in fifteen minutes so I can tell all three of you that you’re not resigning."

"Yes ma’am."

"Santiago looked up and down at the three of us. She was by far the shortest person in the room, but she appeared to tower over the three of us especially since she was sitting on the desk while the three of us were arranged in a row around her.

"There are three options available right now. Just to make sure we're all on the same wave length, I'm going to reiterate them to you." Smacking pieces of paper against her hand, Santiago gave me a bright smile. "I'm leaning toward option # 3 myself. Option # 1, is that I accept your resignations and try to smooth things over."

She smiled her shark smile again. "Fuck that idea."

There was a sound of something dropping, and I think it was my heart, landing near my ankles. Damn it, my resignation was the best idea I could come up with possibly saving John's career. I was doing it for him, and any Telepaths who might one day want to be in EF. Oh shit... she was waving form BC5-a around and those were only used for court martialing commissioned officers.

"So. Dr. Chambers, what do you think my other options are?" Suzanne's cultured voice was rather cold.

"You'll..." Sarah paused.

"INCORRECT!" Snarled Suzanne. "Option 2 is smoothing things over, hanging the two boys by their genitalia until they wouldn't even THINK of breaking the codes of conduct, and then letting them back into their little cruiser of love. Do you know why I won't do that?" She pounced on John Matheson.


"BECAUSE unlike Matthew's personal hero, John Sheridan, I believe STRONGLY in following the accepted rules of military conduct. When Clarke was running amuck, I was in EF, and you know what I did?"

"No..." I answered quickly. How the hell did she know that I admired Sheridan?

"I FOLLOWED THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. UNLIKE SHERIDAN AND HIS FOLLOWERS WITH HIS GODDAMN HOLY WAR! I didn't set brothers and sisters of the military against each other, though you two appear to have the idea of brotherly love down a little too goddamn well." Her voice was like a whip, cutting into my soul. "Thanks to him, he helped caused this situation with the DRAKH because he didn't follow the rules. He broke them because he thought he fucking knew best. Well, now that Earth's being decimated with the plague, I don't see Johnny helping us out!"

"He didn't follow the rules, just like you TWO didn't. He made a big mess even BIGGER with his attempts at fixing the problem, DOES THAT SOUND LIKE PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM? Did the idea of telling the Dowager, Hello I'm a complete IDIOT even enter your mind? Did you try telling her that you're a complete ass and therefore you didn't mean what you said? Did you even think of that?"

She looked at her, her dark eyes blazing.

"Well... no." I admitted that softly, wanting to say for the record that it would have only made things WORSE.

"NO! People like you don't belong in the military and as the ranking Plague-free member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff I feel it is in the best interest of the military to get people like you the hell out of it. But that's only after I make an example out of the three of you. By the time I'm done with you, your court martial will seem to be a blessing."

Sarah interrupted quickly... but Santiago cut her short.

"And I'm make sure you're disbarred, disgraced, and de-doctored as soon as I'm done with these two, and then the three of you can cavort in your bacchanalian feasts as much as you want. You watched them, Chambers? WATCHED? Couldn't you rent a few crystals? Do any of the three of you idiots realize WHAT the main goal of your mission is?"

"Yes." The three of us answered shakily.

"Well, it's not getting LAID." Her voice was the sound of a full force gale. "DID ANY OF YOU PEOPLE STOP TO THINK THAT THIS MIGHT NOT HELP THE MISSION?"

Silence. I could see John Matheson out of the corner of my eye, and he was ashen. The enormity of the current situation was hitting the three of us rather hard. My court martial would ruin John Matheson's career and reputation and combined with John's own court martial, the chance for any Telepath in the military would be next to none. I could hear the snickers already. "Told you that Teeps couldn't handle being in the military."

"John..." I whispered this softly, not wanting to bring Santiago's wrath down on me as she was verbally whipping Chambers. "I never... ever... wanted this to happen. Believe me? I am.... So incredibly sorry."

I don't think he heard me, but I truly hoped he did. JOHN. I'm really, really sorry.

"So... now I have to ask you two fine examples of military prowess. What do you think my final option is? John?" The use of his first name, instead of the customary "Lieutenant" seemed to shake him to his very core.

"Court Martial. It's the only option, and it will forever destroy..." His voice was still.

"Any chances for a Telepath to prove that she or he is good enough to serve along us common Mundanes." Santiago sighed loudly. "I don't want to go down into the history books as being the General who forever destroyed the chances... It's not that I like you or your kind, John. I don't, but I know that according to the rules and regulations of the military that I hold near and dear to my heart, that discrimination is wrong. Be it against MUNDANE or TEEP."

Quiet descended in the room, and I wished I knew what to say to make things better.

"What I'd like to do, is court martial both of you, making you examples of what not to do in the military, but I can't. I've got family back on Earth that are dying. And while you two boys are fucking around with each other, people are dying. GIDEON! Get your HEAD outta his ASS. John; use your goddamn hand instead. Sarah, if you find the Cure, I'll personally send you and the boys here the nastiest set of sex crystals I can find..." Santiago jumped off the desk, in a single, fluid motion. "So you know what the four of us are going to do now?"

"No." The three of us chimed in together.

"The four of will pretend that this conversation didn't happen. As far as everyone knows, I found out nothing. I certainly didn't find out that Gideon and Matheson were playing leap frog in their spare time when they should be out trying to find the CURE."

"I'm not happy as I have had a permanent migraine since the Drakh decided to drop the Plague on Earth. But, in spite of the fact that I am in constant excruciating pain, which is only aggravated by blatant stupidity such as yours, I still know that finding the Cure must take precedence over everything else. Even though I do not approve of what I believe occurred here. So I have decided to sweep this incident under the carpet," She looked at Sarah. "Don't even think of submitting your resignation, as I've got family down there, dying. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, Ma'am." Sarah answered shortly.

"You two boys, will behave and act like military officers. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?" She roared that in my ear and I flinched. "This matter will be smoothed over and forgotten, your resignations request accidentally removed from your records and you will know that the minute you step off this planet, I will be there, breathing down your neck to make sure you two behave. Next time, Captain, I expect you to try a little harder with conjugating your verbs, not conjugating with your XO. Lt. Matheson, if he ever tries to be a linguist again, you have my permission to shoot to kill first, then ask questions later. Chambers, your willingness to stick your neck out for these idiots would be commendable except for the fact that there are ten billion people dying on Earth right now that need your skills. Do you understand me? "

"Yes, Ma'am." Matthew and I echoed that. Sarah was only a second behind us.

"How much longer do you think you'll be dirtside?" Santiago asked. "The sooner off this planet, the better, but I don't want you to rush and miss something important."

"Another week or so." John answered quickly. "Possibly ten days."

"Here is what you three are going to do. You're getting a divorce. I expect that you will never mention this marriage to anyone, and if I find out that any of this has leaked beyond this room, I will court martial you both."

"If I find out that any of you three even give the others sad puppy dog eyes, I'll come back and cut your tripes off. I'll use them as a paperweight on my desk, or maybe I'll go golfing with them.... Understand boys... that you'll still be attached to them when I'm putting on the green."

John and I suddenly pressed our legs together, as no doubt John had the same mental image I did. Lying on the grass bound and gagged, with the General using a 9 iron on my dick is a rather vivid image, I have to admit.

"Wonderful. Now I've got to go see some people on Minbar. REMEMBER I'LL BE WATCHING THE THREE OF YOU." She then left the room, and I felt myself suddenly go limp in relief.

"I think I just barely escaped from a rabid shark attack." Sarah admitted softly.

John escaped quickly after our debriefing from Santiago, claiming that he had an planetside team to run, and I sighed.

"How are things with you two?" Sarah asked.

"I don’t know." Admitting that to her was rather difficult.

She gave me a comforting smile. "If it makes you feel better, I think he’s as confused as you are."

I watched her leave the room, and I felt like telling her departing back that no… it didn’t make me feel any better. In fact, it made me feel worse, as John Matheson had never been uncertain about anything in all the years I had known him.

"Keep your hostess happy." Santiago told me, and therefore I did. I was becoming a better rider on that lizard thing though I would never develop her fluid grace on that … being. My Pyxian was even becoming understandable though Jagio rudely laughed at my crude accent constantly.

But John and I were still at an impasse, and the Dowager was constantly asking me if there were problems.

"No. Honorable Dowager, it is just that he is quite serious for one so young. Sometimes he forgets to enjoy life." I answered her in flawless Pyxian, and the old lady looked at me with a rather intelligent look in her eyes. She knew I was bullshitting her, and she… appeared… amused?

"Then you must remind him."

Great. An order from the high command. It was only a few more days until we were scheduled to leave the planet… and then things would be back to my normal, solitary, isolated life, a life that honestly looked a little too dreary and lonely after these past nights lying next to John.

Perhaps the Dowager was right. I did need to remind him.

John was sleeping in bed when I joined him. I tried not to smile as I looked at his sleeping face, as he looked so young and innocent. He wasn’t really, not by a long shot. In the many realms, he had experiences that far outnumbered mine, but I still felt protective of him, because I cared for him…well … ok… because I loved him.

There I admitted it to myself, and I continued looking at his slumbering form. Under its own volition, my hand slowly moved up to caress his face. Using two of my fingers, I traced his cheek, his nose, and his mouth. I lingered on his lips for a bit, wishing that I could kiss him. I had only tried it twice and he had rather firmly rejected my advances… but he’d never know if I kissed him quickly…

He was a sound sleeper, so… why not?

Gently, I kissed him on his soft lips.

John still slept on, and emboldened, I decided to continue to explore his body. Fortunately, he was lying on his back, so I had easy access to his body. Tracing my fingers over his neck, I felt his pulse beating beneath my fingers.

I found myself gently nuzzling his neck, at his pulse point, while my fingers continued to roam further south. I wasn’t going to keep touching him, but while I was slowly licking his shoulder blades, my fingers found one of his nipples. Playing carefully with it, I rolled it between my fingers, and lightly I squeezed it. It responded quickly to my attention, and I was going to stop right then and there… But… darn it, I was neglecting the other one. Not a good thing, Matt, as it was loudly crying out for the same attention that its brother nipple had gotten. But … this time, just a kiss. A gentle buzz on his pert nipple soon had me sucking gently on it and then I was nipping it with soft gentle bites.

Matthew, you really better stop this, right now. It’s an order! But my tongue had other ideas and soon I was licking my way down his flat abdomen. Lord, John, I never knew you had washboard abs, and now that I know, I’ll never look at you quite the same way when you’re in those black jumpsuit. They never revealed your physique at all… especially… oh my. John Matheson… you’ve got a rather impressive erection straining to be released from the confines of your briefs. No wonder I was so sore after our first few tries… the damn thing’s huge!

Hmmm… I wonder what John’s dreaming about…. as that rather large erection is just dying to be played with. Let’s see…. If I slide my hands down a little bit..ah… contact!

I rested my head on John’s hip bone and while my hands teased his cock that was straining underneath the fabric. No… I’m not going to try to remove his underwear. That’s going too far, Matthew! So, instead I focused on long leisurely strokes on his cock. Slowly up….and then down…. One finger gently tracing the length of that monstrosity of John’s. Slowly…. Take your time Matthew, like you’re masturbating.

Hmmm… I really wonder what John’s dreaming about as he’s getting really hard. No… I won’t squeeze his tip… but two fingers… gentle pressure…a slow…firm… squeeze…. I suddenly tasted fabric, and I realized that I had just lightly kissed John’s tip. Pursing my lips carefully I began to suck part of his tip very, very tenderly. I suddenly felt John’s hands in my hair, and his body suddenly shifted and I looked up to see John looking at me intently.

He moved my head away from him, and then he began trying to slide his underwear down.

"Let me…" I whispered, and I moved to straddle him. Our hands touched briefly, and then John nodded. Fumbling with his underwear, as I was nervous, I suddenly got disgusted with the damn thing that was preventing me from reaching my goals. Grabbing it in my hands, I tore it apart.

"Matt!" John protested. I ignored him and savagely attacked his erection. I took him in my mouth and I began sucking hard while he shifted underneath me. No.. no… Slower. Slower. Tease him. Don’t rush this. So, I slowly removed my mouth from him, and then I began to gentle suck on his tip. Nervously at first, I slowly kissed and teased him, but as I grew more and more comfortable with what I was doing, I grew bolder and more aggressive with him.

"What are you doing?" John whispered. "Matthew? I’m still pissed off at you!"

For a moment, I thought I was the Telepath in the relationship, because I could sense that John’s feelings were… ambivalent. On one hand, he was really pissed at me, but on the other hand, I think he was enjoying what was going on.

"Following.." Slurp… "Santiago’s…" I began gently mouthing his balls, while my fingers continued to explore his body. "DIRECT" Nibble. "Orders…"

I had been in a half-doze when Matt had started touching me, so I had thought it was a dream, until he began playing with my nipples. Gently he had teased them, then nipped them, then he moved further south.

My eyes flew open but I still lay quietly, pretending to be asleep. He wasn't looking up at me, he was concentrating on covering my stomach with his tongue. His breath was hot on my stomach and I watched him sleepily, enjoying the warmth spreading across my skin.

Then his hand slid over my underwear and I realized how aroused I had been growing under his attentions. On its own accord, my cock jumped against his hand as he stroked it through the fabric.

Okay, this was getting serious and I needed to stop it right now. We had just barely missed out on being courtmartialed out of EF and this was not going to help us get back on the straight and narrow.

Matt's fingers were making long smooth strokes over my cock and I saw a little wicked smile appear on his face. That smile always meant trouble for someone, usually me. And I certainly was in deep trouble at the moment. I was enjoying this way too much.

I opened my mouth to object, to tell him I wanted him to stop touching me, though that would be the biggest lie of my life. Then his lips slid down my underwear and he started to suck the tip of my cock through the fabric. I gasped for air, all thoughts melting into the hot wet sensation of his mouth.

Reaching down, I buried my hands in his hair. He looked up at me and I could only stare at him. Those lips ... warm ... soft ... hungry ... Refusing to think about what I was doing, I pulled Matt's head away and tried to wiggle out of my underwear, which were plastered to my erection by Matt's saliva.

"Let me," Matt whispered, and straddled my legs. His hands touched mine and I nodded, wanting ... needing ... to get those underwear off quickly.

I raised my hips slightly as Matt fumbled with peeling off the stubborn underwear. He chewed on his lower lip, like he always does when he's anticipating something. His expression turned to frustration, then he just grabbed the underwear in two hands and ripped it apart.

"Matt!" I protested, a protest which turned into a moan as Matt took my cock into his mouth like he was a three-day starved lion and I was his prey. He sucked hard, sending lighting bolts of pleasure up my body.

He abruptly backed off, and returned to the slow gentle teasing that he had been doing before I let him know that I was awake. He seemed nervous but completely determined. This was the Matthew Gideon I knew, the man who went after what he wanted, forgetting any consequences.

I was able to catch my breath a little and my mind began working again too ... damn it. Regardless of how damn good ... gasp ... he was making me feel ... oh God YES ... the situation hadn't changed any. We were back to being ... gasp ... Captain and First Officer, by the General's command.

His caresses were growing stronger, bolder. His fingers ran down the sensitive skin of my balls.

"What are you doing?" I said hoarsely, my head whirling, "Matthew? I’m still pissed off at you!"

He chuckled against my cock, sending a buzz through my body. His mouth seared a hot trail down my skin until his lips found my balls. He answered me in between sucking, "Following ... Santiago's ... direct ... orders." His hands had somehow gotten underneath me and he was kneading my ass in time with his sucking.

I felt like I was drunk as my mind lurched along, trying for a coherent response. "Santiago expressly forbid this ... sort of thing." Unconsciously, my hands had found their way back to Matt's hair and my fingers were running through his silky hair.

"Santiago said to keep my host happy," He sounded a trifle smug with this reasoning as he nipped the inside of my thigh, "And the Dowager told me to remind you to enjoy life." He brought his mouth back up to taste the trembling skin at the base of my cock.

"I d-don't think that this is what they meant ..." I managed to say.

"Ohh, this is exactly what the Dowager meant," Matt chuckled, rubbing his cheek against my straining erection. He brought his lips down on the head of my cock and sucked it into his mouth. His wet hot mouth felt so incredible that I could only lay there and stroke his hair as he hit every pleasure spot with enthusiasm. He back off and lifted his head, teasing me, his tongue drawing a light line down my cock. Then he plunged back downwards and my hips thrust up to meet him.

For once, I was grateful that he was on those damn blockers, since I didn't think I was going to be able to keep control of this roil of emotions and sensations. I hoped I wasn't broadcasting to the entire complex, waking everyone from their sleep with the telepathic blast of confusion, lust and arousal.

Damn him, he could always wrap me around his little finger and now I was discovering that he could wrap me around his tongue too. Damn him for being so tender and so intense and so ... so Matthew.

His tongue flickered over the head of my cock and he sucked it in and out. He sucked my cock in as much as he could, then raised his head in a long smooth stroke. Just before I would have left his mouth, he pushed downwards again, his tongue swirling as he plunged down.

Unbelievable pressure was building up in my balls and in my whole body, focused utterly on Matt's active mouth. My cock was aching and growing harder than I could have ever imagined.

I made an incoherent sound of urgency, not sure if he wanted to take me in his mouth. He responded by sucking my cock in even deeper and bracing himself against my hips.

That last gesture sent me over the edge and I groaned and released the explosion. My mouth opened wide in a silent yell as my hips bucked and I shot my juices down Matt's waiting throat.

Matt held on, sucking down everything I could give. He sucked until my cock started to soften in his mouth. Releasing it, he ran his tongue over my cock and balls for any juices he might have missed.

I lay trembling in the aftermath, my heart thudding in my ears. That has got to be the most incredible that-- No, stop it! It was just alright. God, as alright as the Excalibur is a paper sailboat.

After he lapped up every last drop of my juices, Matt licked and kissed his way up my body. He covered me with his tall firm body and I noticed that he was still wearing the shorts he slept in. His erection was steel hard through the thin fabric.

His lips found mine and his tongue plunged into my mouth, his tongue still salty and sharp with my own semen. His restless hands continued to roam my body, caressing every inch of my skin that they could reach.

He broke the kiss and nibbled my eyebrows and nose, the corners of my eyes and my cheeks.

"You are so delicious, I just want to eat you up," Matt murmured, his teeth against my earlobe, "You might want to check tomorrow and make sure you still have all your extremities."

"Yes, sir," was my gasping reply.

"Now, turn over."


"Turn over, now," he growled, "Or I will turn you over myself."

I couldn't help chuckling at the note of urgent determination in Matt's voice. He moved off of me and I rolled over on my stomach and cradled my chin in my hands.

"Ooh, yes," Matt said, running his hands down my exposed back and ass, "you have the most wonderful skin." He straddled me and leaned down to kiss the highly sensitive skin on the back of my neck. I shivered, feeling very vulnerable.

He leaned closer and I felt the heat of his breath on the skin of my shoulders. He began to talk in between kisses on my back, his voice rough with emotion.

"You can't imagine how hard it has been to be passive and let you do all the work love-making. So many times I wanted to reach up to you and pull you to me and kiss you breathless. But I had gotten us into this whole mess and I didn't want to ... trouble you more. But dammit, I just can't be strong any longer. I want to make love to you until we are both limp puddles. I want to lock the door on everyone and stay here in bed with you forever. I want to explore every inch of your delicious body. I want ... I want ..."

He gave a groan of frustration -- he'd always been an man of action, not words. He proceeded to demonstrate with his lips and teeth and hands along my back and shoulders.

I couldn't help but tremble under the physical onslaught, and in the aftereffects of his intense and passionate words. I had thought he had been passive since he found my touch distasteful. I should have realized that the damn self-sacrificing bastard was just trying not to not to "trouble me". That means the last three weeks we could have been ...

Whoa, stop that thought right there Matheson. I quickly tried to shut down my pesky mind.

Shifting, he lay his body down against mine as his lips sucked on my shoulder blade and his hands stroked my sides. I could feel the silk of his shorts brush against my legs and then the warm throb of his erection pressing against my right thigh through the fabric.

His lips and hands moved slowly down my back, his erection sliding down my leg. I was still resting my chin in my hands, trying not to think but just enjoy the warming fire of arousal he was stoking with each touch.

Reaching the top of my ass, his mouth and hands began to roam my asscheeks and then, daringly, he ran his finger down the crack between my asscheeks. My asshole tingled where he touched it.

I could feel his breath hot against my skin as he started talking again, his voice muffled.

"Your ass, God, and your skin. I want to take off your skin and wrap it around me so that I can feel you everywhere."

He abruptly sat up and turned around so that he was laying on me backwards. His lips and hands returned to their exploring, stroking down my thighs and kissing the ticklish spots at the backs of my knees. I was accutely aware at each moment where his erection was pressing into my back.

"You even have cute knees. How can one man been blessed with cute knees and a delicious ass and a cock the size of a small spaceship?"

I knew he didn't expect a response, so I just hmmed softly. And I knew he was chattering because he had held himself back from talking to me for so long. But what he was saying still sent shivers of ... something up my spine. Alarm? Fear? ... Delight?

He had reached my feet and was nibbling on my heels. His tongue tickled the bottom of my feet and I couldn't help squirming. He laughed, a warm sensuous laugh that I could feel through his whole body.

Playing with my toes, he said musingly, "Do you know that when I see you with your headset that I always want to tear it off and run my tongue over your ear? I love the way you look in that black uniform. And you have this little smile that you get when are humoring me that I want just kiss off of your lips."

Matt's voice suddenly grew hot and protective, "And that everytime Mr. Jones comes, I have to stay far away from him so he won't know how much I want to take a iron whip and flay his muscles from his bones. How dare he hurt you ..." He took a deep ragged breath then gave the arch of my right foot a resounding smack. "I have you naked underneath me, how could I be thinking about anything else?"

I blinked, having some difficulty thinking at all. Maybe it was the combination of tiredness, Matt's words, and his body pressing against mine, but I was finding the attention he was giving my feet very ... stimulating.

Matt abruptly rolled off of me, leaving me feeling cold and bereft. Before I could complain, I heard the sound of him scrambling out of his shorts. "I want to feel your skin against mine."

More sounds of shuffling and he was right way up. His lips were on my knees again, then my thighs. He kissed my asscheeks. His tongue flickered over my asshole in a caress that was shockingly intimate.

He then lay full stretched on top of me, his erection pressing against my tailbone. Slowly, he moved against me, his skin sliding against mine.

The thick hard shape of his cock pressed against me and his fingers dug into my shoulders.

When I realized that Matt was intending on rubbing himself against me until he climaxed, I reached behind me and stopped him.

"What's wrong?" Matt said warily.

I'm losing my mind, that's what's wrong.

Disengaging myself from Matt, I scooted over to the side of the bed. My hands, seemingly of their own volition, began fumbling on the nightstand for a particular little bottle. I found it and slid back under the covers and back up against a bemused Matt.

I lay down again on my stomach and held the lubricant bottle back towards Matt. There was a short intake of breath. A pause. Then he took the bottle from my hands. "Are you sure?" His rich voice was cautiously joyful.

Laughing, I answered, "No, I'm not sure. Just ... do it."

"Yes, sir!" he said, and clicked open the bottle with enthusiasm.

I settled back down again, enjoying his delight.

I heard the sound of the gel being squeezed out, then he very slowly slid one lubricated finger into my asshole. My ass automatically clenched up, but I took a deep breath and relaxed.

He twisted the finger carefully around, loosening me. Nerve endings I had forgotten I had came flaming to life.

"Doing okay?" he asked.

I had to swallow before I could answer, "Yes, just fine."

"Good. Let's see if we can make you more than fine ..." He pulled his finger out, I heard him moving around, then suddenly the most incredible sensation as his tongue tunneled into my asshole.

"Ooooh .... ggggod," I moaned.

Matt pulled back laughing, "I think the Lieutenant likes that."

"God, yes. More."

Matt laughed again then returned to giving me the most body-shuddering pleasure I had felt in a very long time. I could feel his fingers dig into my hips as he licked and slurped and burrowed into my asshole with enthusiasm.

I had to shift position on the bed, since his attentions were making my cock grow hard again already. Incoherent moans seemed to be coming from my mouth, but I was utterly focused on the sweet shudders of pleasure that my lover was giving me.

Without removing his tongue, Matt reached around my body and gripped my firm cock. He chuckled against my ass, murmuring, "I thought so," and began massaging my cock.

A uneven moan escaped my mouth. The sensations were too much to hold in and I felt my climax building rapidly.

"Please ..." I gasped.

Matt immediately doubled his efforts, stroking my cock firmly and sinking his tongue as far in as he could. After just another moment, I gave a loud guttural moan and blasted my juices all over the bed and Matt's hand.

He pulled his tongue out and gave me a brief breathing space.

Releasing my cock, he slurped some of my juices off of his messy hand. "Ambrosia," he said, smacking his lips melodramatically.

I laughed and he took his still messy hand and lubricated my ass with my own semen, a gesture I found startlingly erotic.

Moving quickly, he scooted up until he was pressed full length against me and his cock level with my ass. His cock gently pushed into my very wet and highly sensitized asshole.

He held himself still while I adjusted to him inside me.

"Oh God," he said hoarsely, "You feel so incredible. Tight and hot and ... unnggh. I want to stay inside you forever. But we’d look ridiculous joined like that on the bridge. People would notice, people would talk."

I resisted the urge to tell him that I wanted it too. It had been a long time since I had felt such a sensation, but I couldn't imagine that it had ever felt so good before. There was something about being around Matt that made every experience sharper, brighter, more intense ... sweeter.

Slowly, he began to move, pushing in and out with agonizing leisure.

"I never knew it would feel so wonderful," he murmured in my ear. "Similar but totally different than with a woman. Though I should have known you would have an incredible ass inside too. There isn't one thing, one toe, one elbow, one little hair on your head that I don't adore."

He kissed the back of my neck then continued his tender stream of revelations, "I could only stand those endless days with the Dowager because I knew that I would be sharing the night with you even if it was just lying in the same bed as you. And when you reached for me, I would want you so badly. They didn't need to drug me after that first week, just one touch from you was enough."

Matt's words and the slow even strokes of his body were weaving a net of arousal around me. My whole body felt awake and alive, slow waves of something like orgasms spreading through me. If my cock hadn't just been expended twice, I know it would have been fully alert and at attention. I was trying to listen to what he was saying because it felt crucially important, but my attention kept getting lost in the tightening mesh of stimulation.

"I would always try to stay awake so I could listen to you breathing and to avoid the dreams ..." His voice grew rough and shaky, "I would never hurt you, never! I will never abandon you or let you get hurt again. I will keep you safe from harm. John ... My John ..."

He shuddered and rubbed his cheek against mine. "John, John, John," he repeated, finally running out of words. He continued to move slowly in and out, his weight resting slightly on his bent elbows, his breath hot against my skin.

His pace gradually increased, sliding in and out until he was slamming into me, my ass rising to meet each stroke. I could feel his balls caressing my ass with each downstroke.

I found that it was possible to really vibrate with arousal. I wondered if Matt's blockers were failing because I was feeling almost dizzy, each thrust of his body like an explosion behind my closed eyes.

"John, John, John ..."

My whole body shook and I dug my fingers into the blanket and wanted the thrusting to last forever. I could tell he was trying to hold back, make the experience last longer, but the demands of his body overtook him.


His strokes became fast and shorter. Gasping whimpers crawled out of the back of my throat as we fused into single mindless animal passion.

With a low growl, he erupted inside me, spewing hot juices deep within me.

His hips bucked wildly as he unloaded again and again.

He collapsed against me, his cock still pulsing inside me. His lips were fervently kissing the back of my neck and the side of my face.

"My John," his voice was ragged in my ear. "My John ... my husband ... my John ... I would gladly give up anything for you ... my John ... "

He rolled us both over onto our sides, his relaxing cock still buried in my ass. He whispered warm meaningless words into my ear as his voice faded into yawns.

"My John," he murmured on the edge of sleep. "My love ... my love ... I ... always ... love you."

Soon I heard his breathing deepen and he was asleep.

I was everything but sleepy. Tired, yes. But my mind was racing around frantically, trying to escape the fact that Matthew Gideon had just told me he had loved me. He had told me in deeds, by his resignation and also by the tender urgent way he had just made love to me. Yet until he actually used the word, "love", I had been able to fool myself into thinking that this was just Captain Courageous saving one of his crew, and a lonely man in search of physical comfort. I could fool myself no longer.

Damn him ...

He was still my superior officer, nothing had changed. Nothing had changed!

... Everything has changed ...

I woke up with the sense that something important had happened. Memory of last night's intense love-making rushed back to me.

Coming awake, I realized that I was wrapped around John's naked body, I mean wrapped. I had my legs thrown around his hips, my feet locked together in front of his thighs. My arms were hugged tight around his rib cage, my chin tucked over his shoulder and my head resting against his cheek.

John was sleeping, deep even breaths that I could feel with my arms and my chest. I felt a sharp almost painful jolt of emotion.

"Mine", I whispered.

When did I fall in love? And why couldn't have been with anyone but this warm, wonderful man who is brave, smart, funny, gorgeous, loyal, clever, fearless--

Oh my. I laughed softly You have got it bad. Like you’re in grade school.

I felt John shift against me, waking up himself. And found myself praying to any god that I could think of that his next words wouldn't be angry, accusing. Please, any god that will hear me ...

"Matt?" he said, his voice neutral.

"Yes?" I answered, trying to brace myself for whatever would come.

"I have to use the bathroom."

"Oh." I untangled myself from him and he moved out of the bed and away, never turning his face in my direction.

What did I say last night? What did I say? Should I not have... Did I go too ... Oh Hell. I had screwed up again. Matthew Gideon is not allowed to win, remember? Better save up the memory of last night because damn if John is ever going to talk to you again, let alone ...

I closed my eyes and curled up into a ball, trying desperately to remember every moment of our love-making. How he felt, how he had tasted and how good it had felt.

It seemed like an eternity before John returned, though I don't know how much time had really passed. I heard him come and stand next to the bed. He stood there silently until I finally opened my eyes and looked up at him.

He had that bewitching little smile on his face.

I had awoken feeling warm and contented. I could sense Matt on every inch of my skin, even my feet remembered his attentions. I lay still and enjoyed the feeling of him wrapped around me, the whisper of his breathing in my ear.

Then my mind woke up. Ohmygod. What the Hell is wrong with you John Matheson? You just willingly made love to your Captain. Truly made love for the second time. And let him tell you he loved you. SO much for a sham marriage. General Santiago would space you if she knew! And, most importantly ... What the Hell are you going to do now?

I cleared my throat, "Matt?"

"Yes?" His voice was cautious, almost flat with suppressed anxiety.

"I have to use the bathroom," I lied.

"Oh" he said and moved his warm passionate body away from mine. I scrambled out of bed and headed directly for the room's sumptuous bathroom.

I shut the door behind me and leaned against it, my legs wobbly. Staggering over to the bathroom sink, I stared into the mirror. The face that looked back at me was of a total stranger. A stranger who would blatantly defy direct orders, lie to a general, and, best yet, repeatedly fuck my direct superior. What had happened to me?

A wry laugh. I knew exactly what had happened to me. Matthew Gideon had happened to me. He was totally corrupting me with gambling instincts, his disregard for authority and due process, his recklessness, his warm lips, his delight in the moment, his passionate body--

Ohmygod. I leaned over the sink and splashed my face with cold water.

I didn't know what I felt about Matthew Gideon, but my feelings sure as Hell weren't the sort of feelings one should have for one's Captain.

He loves me. He loves me. And not like a crewmate or even an occasional bedmate. Like a life-mate.

Leaning forward, I rested my head against the cool surface of the mirror.

What was I going to do? We couldn't exactly keep sleeping together once back on the Excalibur. And Santiago was going to keeping her eye on us. We'd have to be very circumspect and watch for--

Stopping my mind in mid-thought, I stared at myself in the mirror. Ohmygod, does that mean that you want it to continue, that you want to ... that you feel the same ...

No, no, no ... I shook my head, frightened like I had never been before. I tried to catch my breath.

I didn't need to think about that yet. I had a week, maybe ten days on this planet, in our marriage bed, in his arms ...

John Matheson, this is the road to insanity and destruction, and you know it.

Shut up! I told my inner voice viciously. All my life I've been good, I've been contentious, I've been goddamned perfect. So I wanted to have a little fun, what's the harm in that?

It's more than that, John Matheson. You're playing with fire.

"I know," I whispered. "But maybe I like the heat."

I gave a soft snort of laughter at my schizophrenic argument. Loosing my mind? I'd lost it long ago. Maybe the very first day I looked into those hazel eyes and introduced myself to my new CO.

Shaking my head again, I gave another chuckle of laughter. My natural humor was finally starting to reawake. Why are you talking to yourself in the bathroom when the best lover you've ever had is waiting for you in the room outside? Forget propriety ,forget stupid complications. Just go out there and fuck his brains out! Repeatedly!

I giggled then took a deep breath as I realized I was on the edge of hysteria. I took another deep breath and then another. Licking my lips, I looked around for my wrist communicator. It wasn't here but Matt's was. I picked it up and thumbed it on.

"Open a connection to Dr. Chambers."

"Captain?" came the warm voice of the doctor, "What is wrong--"

"It's John," I interrupted.

"Oh. ... John, what is wrong? Where is Matt? What happened--"

"Slow down," I laughed, "Nothing is wrong."

"Then why are you--"

"I just wanted to make sure that you could run the rest of the planetside operations without me."

"Sure, no problem, but why, where are you going?"

"I'm going nowhere but back to bed."

"Are you feeling okay--"

"Back to my very warm and occupied bed."

A pause. "Oh! Did you ... sleep well last night?"

"Very well," I grinned, "Going to have to go get some more sleep now."

"Wonderful! Does that mean you ... and the Sandman have come to some sort of agreement?"

"Sort of. We have some details to ... hammer out."

Sarah broke out laughing, "I'm so glad to hear it! I will take care of things here. I'll give you a once a day update, but otherwise I don't want to hear one word from you! Go get yourself some ... sleep!"

"Matheson out," I chuckled.

Dropping the communicator into a pile of dirty laundry, I dried off my face. I couldn't help but notice that my body had completely recovered from Matt's earlier efforts. My erection was already standing straight up in anticipation of what I hoped was going to come next. I opened the bathroom door.

I found Matt curled up on the bed into a fetal position, his eyes tightly closed.

At that moment I discovered that "heartbreak" wasn't just a metaphor. My chest ached as I looked down at him. Captain Courageous reduced to a fearful child by the cruelty of his first officer and best friend. Well, no longer. I was going to get my old Matthew Gideon back if I had to fuck him into next week. Or the week after that ...

I licked my lips and grinned down at him, anticipating.

He opened his eyes and looked up at me, his face lined with anxiety.

I leaned over the bed. "You look cold, mind if I join you?"

He blinked at me, obviously nonplused.

I leaned over farther, making sure that my hard cock was in plain sight. "I could use some warming up, how about you?"

"Umm, sure ..."

I laughed out loud and jumped onto the bed. Tearing aside the covers, I straddled Matt and placed my hands on each side of his head. I grinned down at his startled face. "Dr. Chambers has agreed to run the planetside team for the rest of the dig. That leaves me with all sorts of extra time. What could I possibly fill those hours with?"

Hope was growing on Matt's face like the rising of the sun. "I think I could come up with a few diversions."

"Oh good, I hate to be bored." I dipped my hips and teasingly rubbed the head of my cock across his stomach.

Matt swallowed, lifting a tentative hand up to touch my cheek. "Does this mean ..."

"I don't know what it means," I growled playfully, "But I've decided to stop thinking so much and start feeling a lot more."

A sunny grin broke across his face. "Oh, I think I can help with that!"

He pulled me down against his body and we started the second half of our honeymoon with a most satisfactory kiss.

The clock on the wall in my office on Excalibur chimed softly, telling me that I wasn't going to be able to avoid sleep for much longer. Rubbing my eyes, I sat back in my chair and sighed. The results we had found on the planet were truly astonishing, and we were racing back to Mars to confer with other scientists.

But that only generated so much paperwork, and I no longer had any excuse to avoid facing my lonely bed.

My eye was caught by the cactus on the desk, the cactus that John had given me, and I was amused to see that it was flowering.

"You look a little dry there."

I began laughing, "God help me! I'm talking to a plant, but you still need a little water."

Watering the plant carefully, I said, "I don't think you're sentient or anything like that, but I could really use some advise on John Matheson right now. Do you think you could help me out?"

I looked at the cactus for a moment then laughed again. I wasn't sure if I was disappointed or grateful that it didn't suddenly burst into flames, complete with ethereal voice dispensing advice.

"I'm losing it. Talking to a plant, but do you think John liked the dragon I got him? I know he has a collection of them. His parents collected them, and it's the one thing he has of them, so I thought it would be a nice addition."

Still no answer from the cactus and I sighed. "Still thinking, hmm? ... maybe after a good night's sleep you'll have an answer. See you tomorrow." I gave the cactus a proprietary but careful pat.

Leaving my office, I wandered over to my couch. There I sat and pondered for a long while about my changed relationship with John, and of course, didn't come up with an acceptable answer to the problem. Today was the first day back at work, the first day that things where supposed to be back to normal.

Even I am not stupid enough to think it can ever be the same again.

But John Matheson had been his usual all too perfect self. One never would have guessed that he and his CO had been married for slightly more than a month now. I changed quickly into my clothes for bed, and gave the bed a reproachful look. "Awfully lonely, and it's going to be rather cold sleeping by myself."

Shaking my head in disbelief, I began questioning my sanity. Talking to plants, talking to your bed, what is your problem, Gideon?

John Matheson. That was the problem. My first officer and the man I loved. The man who would forever in my heart be my husband. And was at this moment as far away from me as he could get.

Instead of going to my lonely and cold bed, I decided to watch ISN for a bit. Nothing on. Over two thousand universal channels and there's nothing on except for infomercials for Buns of Steel by Susan Ivanova.

My door chimed and I groaned. Who could that be at this hour? Unless... My heart began to race. It couldn't be... could it?

I swallowed and my voice sounded almost normal as I said, "Who is it?"

A long pause.

"It's me."

I jumped out of my chair, unconsciously smoothing back my hair. "Come on in."

The door slid open and John Matheson entered my quarters. I was delighted to notice that his rather shy grin matched my own.

{PART 1}

Witches Familiars

{Mistress Sarah} {The Upholsterer}

{The Main Gate} {HomePage} {Wytches World} {We are Family} {A Little Artistic Licence} {No, we don't mean "A"riadne} {Our Home Is Our Castle} {The Witches' Diary} {Witches Familiars} {The Gateway} {Webrings}