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Slash and Yaoi Fiction
Title: The Truth
Author: Juxian Tang
Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Pairing: Tuvok/Lon Suder
Rating: NC-17
Status: complete
Archive: yes
Feedback: juxiantang@hotmail.com
URL: http://juxian.slashcity.net
Disclaimer: Star Trek and the characters belong to Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended.
Spoilers: Meld (2nd season).
Comments: Should I comment a bit? The story is quite episode-related and can be... mysterious for those who missed the particular episode :-) Anyway, Lon Suder (played by incomparable, beautiful Brad Dourif... really, I am infatuated with this man :-) Look at my One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest slash if you like him, too) kills a crewmember of Voyager and Tuvok investigates the case. Tuvok melds with him, trying to understand his motives, and the things go frighteningly wrong. Tuvok goes crackers, becomes very violent (ah, this scene in the Sickbay! And imagine Tuvok saying to Janeway: "You disgust me, Captain. You all humans do." I mean he was mad... he was surely mad... by all means :-)) and tries to kill Suder with mind-meld. Well, the story is set after Meld but before Tuvix.
Warning: rape, violence
Summary: It looks like the consequences of Tuvok's meld with the psycho murderer are removed - but there is a secret that still connects these two people.


He knew. *I* could have been deceiving myself - bringing the pattern of my visits to minute-to-minute perfection, banishing even the tiniest deviations from routine - in the hope that on this particular time the inertia, if nothing else, would save me, would help me to get through. My fingers were unfaltering as I entered the code on the panel at his door - and then I paused, hearing the voices behind the corner. The Crewmen greeted me passing by and I nodded, without turning to them, keeping my shoulders as straight as always. Nothing special was going on. Nothing different.

Their conversation died away quietly. I waited for them to go farther and finished the voice part of the sequence. The doors slid apart in front of me.

He got up from his bed when I came in, put away the padd unhurriedly - his gestures smooth as always, so fluid that the seeming absence of control beyond them was almost frightening. His hands locked behind his back - so habitually, the strange gracious motion that should have been the greatest anchor of my calmness with its predictability but sometimes drove me on the verge of my sanity.

He made two gliding steps towards me but stopped well on the distance, looking at my face. I knew I should have made the contact with his eyes but I did not, my gaze sliding over him instead, not stopping anywhere. He had his usual kind of clothes - plain and dark, blue this time, as uniform-like as possible, taking into account that he was not supposed to wear uniform any more.

*It has been long, Tuvok.*

We met only yesterday for the scheduled session - but no matter how illogical it was what he said, I was not going to argue. He knew. I could not deny it.

*I thought it would be never this time.*

He did not smile; black eyes stayed fixed on me, impenetrably serious as always. I did not smile, too - not with these lips that were not suitable for it. The other one - he could smile, an ugly sight, an ugly feeling that still haunted me - and now I could feel him smiling again inside me.

You thought it would be what? Never? Who do you try to cheat? As if either of you said a word in this room. As if you do not hear his voice in your head and answer him the same way, before you can stop it. Do not think. Run if you can.

Too late. Even to try to deny it - because I was there and no matter how easy it was for me to leave I knew I would not do it. I heard a sharp intake of my breath - a loud noise, the only one in the room that was silent before it. The oxygen ran through my muscles, relaxing them, and I felt my arms become flexible and warm against my sides - and ready to move. Unstoppable. The loss of control? No, it was not. I let my control go. I could have kept it, armor myself with it layer by layer. I was trained for it, was experienced in it more than anybody else on this ship. And if one can live with pain or remorse or despair, one can certainly live with it - with haunting memories and unfulfilled desires. And with the closeness of completion just inside one's reach. The truth was that I let myself go. Over and over again. And I would do it again. At the very moment when shame and bitter relief coursed through me, I was open enough to admit that it was not the last time. Later I would tell myself it was. But not now.

Did he know it, too? The rules I set, the denial I recalled as soon as it was over. I did not want him to know. But he must have known. Or why did I never hear his voice in my mind in any other cases, why did it never intrude my privacy or my work when I was outside his quarters: doing my job or having my recreations or even in my bed. At all these moments he was there, in his room. He must have had a lot of time when he wished to call someone. But he never did. He did not call me.

He knew I did not want him to. He knew I did not want him. Till the moment when I did want him - and then he was there for me.

Motionless, just in a couple of steps away from me - as if still giving me a chance to go. The murderer. The criminal. He had been killing so well that even his belligerent comrades-in-arms were turned out with it. He had killed a man for the way he had looked at him. He said once that he had wanted to kill me. And he would never touch me if I did not let him - did not show him how I wanted it.

Because I wanted it. I knew it with the perfect clarity - the clarity that I missed so much in so many other things. I wanted it and it was what I came here for.

I rolled from my heels to my toes, just a small motion but the direction was what mattered - reeling forward - as if falling towards him - and it was all he waited for. Two steps, so swift and fluid - and his arms already were not behind his back - but flew around me, catching me, strangely warm and strong in the unobtrusiveness of the gesture, wrapping around my shoulders and straightening me.

*Do not worry. I have you.*

As if it was what I needed.

With my eyes closed I recalled for a moment how these arms had felt through my unconsciousness, raising me from the floor, soothing and incongruously gentle - after what I had done to him. It was not the first time when he thought he held me up. And, maybe, that's why I let myself go down.

*Why do you do it?*

No words. Just his breath on my neck, both warm and cool and slightly tickling.

*Why do you always ask, Tuvok?*

He touched me. I should have hated it - who would I ever let touch me like this? And a part of me did hate it, was repulsed - but, maybe, it was why I wanted it so much, too. The thin fingers, so sure, laying on my nape, so *daring* - did not he know what I could do to him for it? Oh he knew, how could I doubt! Who better than him could know? Even if I did not remember it so clearly - dream-like, rather, perhaps it was how my mind protected me. I knew I had done it - but sometimes I almost could believe I had not. But he must have remembered - have it imprinted into his fractured bones and torn flesh; he must have lived with it for days - if he had used the regenerator, it would all have come out - and it never did. No chance for him to forget, right?

And yet here he was - pulling my head down slightly as his body, so close to mine that I could feel it all along, strove up to match my height. And then his mouth was on mine, the kiss, warm, soft, slightly wet, melding, accepting, desired. So natural that I did not have a moment to recall that it was what I must have fought - because it was so good that I could not relinquish it, no matter how I wanted to.

I felt his chest flutter against mine, the caught breath, the tremble - and my arms at last got life of their own - rising, laying around his ribcage that was so hard and frail under my fingers. I knew how easily I could crack his ribs, my strength seemed alive, pulsing in the tips of my fingers, and I wondered if he could feel it, if he could sense my realization - my memories - of how easily it was for me to hurt him, to ruin something in him.

He drew in a breath. His chest rose and fell under my palms - what was it? Was he afraid? Did he like it? The chant of ravagement where the word 'hurt' repeated in every language I knew - that I had met in his mind once - returned to me unbidden and I expelled it with an effort of will. Did he know what never stopped surprise me about him, as long as I had him in my arms... How vulnerable he was. How someone so twisted and deadly could be so vulnerable at the same time.

No, wrong. How can you do what you do - with someone so twisted and deadly? With someone so vulnerable.

I knew. I knew it all. I wished to say I did not know what I was doing, that it was still the other one in me who controlled me - but it was not. The other one laughed at me and tried to open my eyes at it. But the truth was that I did it with my eyes opened. I had fought. And there were times when I threw the fight - when I let myself go. Let everything go. One hundred years of my training, everything what I believed in, T'Pel.

Perhaps it was still the other one. The one who lived in Delta Quadrant. Everything that was good for Alpha Quadrant belonged there - and sometimes it seemed to me that on the day when we were back - whether this day was going to come tomorrow or half of my life later - everything would come back to me: my logic, my integrity, my bond, real one, not this sordid and lame - and I would be myself again.

Dream on.

Yes, I should have known better than try to deceive myself like this - but it was what I did. For the way his hands slid over my shoulders, for this mouth that never left mine as if he did not need to look what he did as his deft fingers pulled down the fastener of my jacket.

*Don't be afraid, Tuvok. I know what to do.*

And for once I did not argue with him about me being afraid. As his hands pulled my jacket away from me, our mouths separated for this moment.

"Computer, Tuvok 1494, seal the door."

*They won't not come in.*

*I know. It is not for them.*

His shiver as I passed my fingers over his chest was so subtle that it was incredible that something so slight could reverberate like this in me. But I knew what it was - what had made us so close. I knew how it started - from the long spikes of fire that my fingers had shot through his brain as I had looked into his wide and black eyes that had not had any expression in them but the undeniable recognition of dying... And then another closeness, a part of me in him, the relentless thrusting, maybe, the same deep and cruel as the invasion into his mind had been - tearing and torturing him so that the fear and resignation in his eyes had changed into pain and despair.

We had enough links between us for any resonance not to be surprising.

The tips of his fingers were so light, running over my neck. Their coolness made me tremble a little, I did not know if it was of pleasure or of cold against my burning skin. He reached towards me - his chest against mine - and I nearly gasped, my control allowing me only to do it silently, not to let out a sound.

*Let me do it... please. I just want to make you feel good.*

There was no lie in it now - he could be a cold-blooded liar but not in what I heard sounding in my mind. I did not want to ask more than that.

I surrendered.

His lips were glistening slightly with the moistness of my mouth - and I knew I would feel my own taste on his lips when I kissed him again. Spicy and tingling against the cinnamon sweet of Betazoid blend. Not metallic and briny as his blood had been in my mouth when I had tasted him for the first time. When the moistness on his lips was not transparent but rich scarlet of blood that marred the whiteness of his face and transformed it into a weird mask of violence and pain.

You do remember it, don't you?

I did.

* * *

He turned out to be inefficient - in his attempts to convince me - but the truth was that I was not going to give him a chance to start with. His phrases, for once fervent, not cold or measured as they used to be, slid over my mind without touching it. Nothing of what he said mattered. He was going to die.

I knew he saw my decision in my eyes a moment before I thrust my hands around his face. Terror splashed in his gaze and then I felt him shuddering, struggling against my grip as I sank my fingers into his cheekbones and above his temples and the darkness of his mind sucked me in.

Kill him! Murder him! There was such joy of destruction in knowing that I would do it - and it resonated in the havoc of his own mind: the sordid memories, the pain discarded and buried away, the secrets that would never go out before he would be dead. I bathed in it. I took his darkness in and it sang through me - and I knew I would kill him because he did not deserve to live. I knew him - we were so much alike and that was why I could judge and execute him.

He was mistaken. If the murder was wrong and had to be paid with death - it did not mean that I would have to die, too, for killing him. It just meant that I would have to be strong and smart enough to cover my tracks better than he had managed it.

The ink splashes of staring eyes on his pale face filled with horror. I did not know if it was the instinctive fear of dying - he must have felt, no matter if he was ready to die or not - or was it what he read in my mind at that moment when we were one - how the darkness from him passed into me and lodged comfortably there - as if there had always been the place ready for it.

It was true - there always had been.

I felt my numb lips getting stretched in that frightening smile of the other one when I saw his eyes become cloudy. It was almost over. I was strong enough to do it. And it felt good to know it.

Then he was on the floor in front of me, his blank face upturned, and I looked at my hands that nearly had done their work and still wanted to do it - and could not. And I looked at him as he got back on his feet shakily, his hand sliding involuntarily against the side of his face where he still must have felt the steel of my fingers sticking into his flesh and into his mind. I glared at him, the hatred boiling in me - not only at what he had done but also at what he was doing to me now - and if my eyes could do what my hands were unable to finish - he would be already dead.

"You see," he whispered, his voice still hoarse from pain and dying but suddenly I could read something in his face that almost looked like compassion - and I hated even more than anything else. "You do not need to do it, Tuvok."

He knew it. He knew it all the way when even I believed I could. But, maybe, he did not know something at all. Something that was already alive in me and begged to be released.

I hit him. There was only a step of distance between us and I covered it and backhanded him. I did not remember restraining myself but I must have because I could have broken his neck otherwise. His head snapped piteously as he slammed in the wall - and the usual liquidity of his motions became dazed when he looked up at me again. There was a slow trickle of blood crawling from his nose, so red, dazzling in its brightness - and his fair skin and black eyes were two only other colors that I saw.

His hand moved so slowly that it seemed an eternity before he brought it to his face and wiped the blood with his palm - and all this time I stood still and staring and my hand pulsed with the strength of connection with his face. He did not wipe the blood actually, just smeared it - raising his hand palm upward as if showing me what I had done - but I knew it - and as he showed me his hand I looked at mine and it trembled and there was no trace on it but I knew it wanted more.

"So, this is what you want..." he said. It was not the defiance of his words - I barely heard them, they were so soft - but his damned shaky thoughtfulness that was probably intended to imitate mine gave me this fever of hatred. "I understand."

Oh this 'I understand' of his. He must have been telling the truth saying that he didn't know about feelings - or his Betazoid flare would warn him for repeating this even once more in my presence.

Did I hit him again? The next thing I remembered was him on the floor at my feet, crumbled in a compact heap in the little space that was left between me and the wall. I saw him shiver. It was probably more than he expected - more pain, more force than he could take. I looked down at him, almost satisfied. I almost felt as if I could stop there.

Then he twisted up, looking at me, pulling his knees up to his chest and his eyes were black and unreadable as usual - but they could not become blacker whether he was in pain or fear or not. He whispered, his voice slightly muffled, probably with blood in his mouth:

"Do it, Tuvok. If it is what you need."

I squatted at him and saw the fear flash in his eyes - but it was too little, too late now. He asked me himself! I only did what he wanted. He seemed to try to start away from me but there was no place, just the wall behind him - and I grabbed his face, the feeling of his cool smooth skin was so familiar as if I got addicted to it for those two times when I touched it. The bones - so frail - it seemed I could crush them just with my fingers, pushing a little harder - and, in fact, I could. His eyes, black and half-mad, stared in mine but he did not beg me to stop.

"You freak, you think you can do it to me," I breathed out. There was this slight flicker in his eyes that indicated that he understood me, even though my voice was nearly incoherent. The closeness of his mind sang through my hands even though the fingers were not on the meld points. It was intoxicating. I looked in his eyes unable to look away. I wanted him to break the contact - maybe, it could save him. But I knew he would not do it. He would make me go to the end.

I held his face in my palms and with one movement I slammed the back of his head against the wall. He went limp - his body, his legs untangling and stretched between mine - but his eyes only misted, did not look away from me. There were new trickles of blood leaking over the ones he had smeared. I did not let his face go, sinking towards it, catching his lips with mine. It was what he wanted, was not it? Now he had it!

My tongue thrust into his mouth violently - the same relentlessly as my thoughts had thrust into his mind - and his taste was maddening, the sweetness of the violation was. It was good to do it!

And then, with the same openness as his mind had opened for my murderous intervention, his mouth opened, too, and his tongue shoved against mine bravely, flickering, exploring my mouth. If I wanted sex... I would not want anything else but this response, maybe, but this kiss.

I did not want sex.

I moved back sharply, leaving his mouth for a moment - only to clamp my teeth on his lips cruelly. There was nothing much to feel, just the pliable softness under my teeth - and then I tasted his blood in my mouth and he thrashed between my knees, probably trying to free himself. The small gasps he made were definitely sounds of pain and these ones I liked to hear.

He should have tried to push me away. Perhaps he could not - not in the position we were. But he could knee me between my legs, could hit the comm badge and set the alarm. But what he did was only to put his hands on my shoulders - almost shyly - and it showed me better than anything else what he was still doing with me. Playing his game, luring me. So, he was going to have what he paid for.

His thin wrist was taut like a string in my grip and his mouth quivered as I started twisting it backwards. His eyes went wide but he didn't make any noise now.

"Do not touch me," I said into this pain-blanched face. "Do you hear me, you sick murderer?"

He kept silent; not nimble enough to answer when I wanted him to. I slapped him - and very slowly, as if needing time for my words to descend, he nodded. I made one more twist, emphasizing my words, and for a moment he looked as if he was going to pass out. The slight sound of something cracking in his wrist did not make me sick - I should have got accustomed to the things like that, with the new life I was going to start.

I studied him as he gasped and gasped desperately, trying to resume normal breathing. His face was a mask of blood and chalk-white, the weird mixture of fear, surrender and something that I considered sorrow, something that angered me most of all. How dared he feel sorry for me?!

I would make him stop it. Now.

I looked down at his body, jammed against mine, pressed into the wall, the knees raised protectively against his chest, his injured hand pressed to his belly. His soft rippled hair was not smoothed away from his forehead any more but a strand hang loosely over his black eyes. He looked messed up, wretched - and yet there was something in him that made me continue; that made me want to continue.

My lips felt parched and I licked them, my eyes not leaving his body any more. I nearly did not recognize my own voice when it said:

"So, you understand me, is it what you say?" his eyes flickered under the curtain of these thick golden eyelashes that seemed incompatible with the black irises - and he looked away quickly, unable to stand my gaze - a small victory that exhilarated me nevertheless. It was only the beginning. "Then show me how well you guess what I want."

I thought that I got him - it was too much even for him. His eyes rushed away from mine but he could not escape himself. I had him. I took his hand, the other one, not the one I had tried to break, and put in on the fastener of his uniform. He obeyed me quietly, pulling it down, with his eyes fixed on me as if he could hardly stand looking at me but could not look away. As if he looked into the abyss that sucked him in.

Yes, right. I was the abyss. Now I was it.

He thrashed a little, pulling off his uniform jacket in the tiny space that was left for him - and his hand probably bothered him, too.

"Come on, you slut," my lips were unaccustomed to these words - numb as I whispered it but there was so much life in other parts of me as I had never known before. "You can put a show for me. I know I am not the first one."

His face rippled agonizingly at my ruthless hint of what I had learned from our last meld but he did not say anything. He did not move his injured hand but his left one, slid it over his chest over the thin material of his undershirt - and even though there was, maybe, only a shadow of eroticism in this movement, I felt my mouth get dry.

The voice that was not my own but still sounded from my mouth barked harshly:

"Yes, bitch. Caress yourself. Show me how you like it. You know how to do it."

If he continued to look at me then, I would probably beat him again, beat him up to death. But the black eyes missed me, looking concentrated on something inside him - maybe, at the very memories I had tasted when melding with him - as he passed his palm between his legs absently. I knew he was soft there - but it did not matter. He wanted it - I knew it.

"Take them off," I ordered. He did. I knew he would do it. It was not easy for him to obey, though - I could read it in the subtle changing of his face. How well I could see through him now - nothing he could hide from me. It suddenly turned me on - to see his hand caressing his naked cock. His touch apparently did not do anything for him and I did not know if it angered or gladdened me. Or, maybe, I did not care what he felt. I wanted *my* cock rammed into his mouth, wanted to see his black eyes looking up at me when he let my cock into his throat - and, maybe, then I would feel safe. Then it would be enough for me.

But I thought I would probably have to break his jaw before doing it. Not even because I was afraid of what he could do - something told me he would resist no more than he had resisted me cramming my fingers into his mind - but because the violence in me demanded to hurt him more, so much that would make up for not killing him as I had wanted to.

And looking at him I understood he knew it, too - that it was not enough. He might have said he lost his Betazoid abilities - but he still must have used them. He knew too much about me.

He turned for me even before I ordered him to.

It felt strange. I had never done it before to a man, I had no idea how difficult it was. But the other one that was me knew what to do. And I was strong enough to do it even through the resistance, even with his body striving away from mine. The pressure against the head of my cock was unbearable for a few long moments - and then it slipped in and he gripped the wall convulsively. He was not in the danger to fall. I had him. I pushed and pushed feeling a thin cool trickle of his blood running over my leg and soaking into my uniform trousers - and when I pulled back, he leaned against me as if trying to spare himself - but it was too little to really help him.

Then blood made the things easier.

There was such drumming in my ears that I would not probably hear him making noises even if he made them. But he seemed to be silent - maybe, too gone to cry out. His cheek was pressed to the wall and his eyes half-opened, unblinking, glazed with pain, as I kept slamming his body into the wall on every in-ward stroke. Nothing was really easy - I had to fight every motion but enjoyed immensely my strength and how it ruined him. I knew I would not stop - nothing would stop me, even the Captain coming in now. At least nothing until he would beg me to.

Somewhere in the middle of the coition I reached for his cock. A tiny part of me hoped probably that I would find a proof there, that even despite everything he was still getting off on it. But it was not like that. If he was getting off it was not physically.

And I did make him cry out and plead, at least when he was able to form the words through pain, when I crushed the softness of his balls in my hand mercilessly.

When I finished and left him, with blood and white ejaculate following my cock in a trickle from his torn opening, he collapsed on the floor over his knees, curling inside himself. I knew I messed him up badly - well, not so badly as it had happened to him in the past and I knew it - but it had been long and he must have been out of shape.

It was over. I sat over him and did not quite know what I felt, apart from the satiation. My cock was cool and sticky and even though I hated to be dirty, it did not come to my mind to clean it. I tucked it away as it was.

Then he looked up at me.

Even behind the coal-black of his eyes I could see the torment that facing me caused him. But he did it - he was a whore, he knew how to do things, he remembered. I expected his voice to be hushed and painful and his lips to tremble - but I didn't expect them to stay pressed tightly... and his voice sounding in my mind:

*Thank you, Tuvok.*

What had he done to me?!

And then I wanted to kill him again. Not with the mind-meld - I had proved to be unable to do it and another failure would be unthinkable. I did not care if it would get messy, I did not care how I would have to explain it to the Captain and others. I wanted it to be gory and wild and violent - exactly as I felt inside.

I saw his eyes opening widely as he saw the murder in mine. I struck momentarily. I was not even going to use the grip at his collarbone to immobilize him. And then - I did not know what happened - his narrow pale hand flashed - and the sharp, numbing pain scorched my throat - so keen that I wanted to cry out but could not. I didn't pass out at once - I looked in his eyes - so cold and focused and murderous - and I wondered if it was the last thing the Crewman Darwin had seen in his life. I thought if it was what they talked about when they referred to 'artistry' of his killing.

He could have done it all the way to me, since the moment when I had taken off the screen on his cell. But he did it only now.

Farewell, Tuvok.

Then my consciousness joined my body in its helplessness and the world turned over around me.

I came round with the vague realization that I was not dead - to his arms around me, raising me from the floor. The feeling of his body was the same - fragile and accepting - but there was strength in the way he held me - and somehow, still half-dazed, I did not want him to let me go. I heard his voice talking to Chakotay on the comm - he did not forget about it, he used it when he wanted to - saying that Tuvok was in trouble.

Tuvok *was* in trouble. I knew it. I was too shaky yet to feel the whole weight of what descended on me. But the realization was already there. Tuvok had done something... Tuvok that was not me but was me, too. The other one was gone. Leaving me with the consequences. With the remorse.

I moved, opening my eyes. I knew they would be here soon - Chakotay, others - and I wanted to be ready for them. And he was not supposed to hold me. He was in trouble, too, needed medical help... I looked up at him. His face was clean, blood gone from it, only his lip was split and puffy, still reminding that all of it was true and I had truly done it. He was dressed.

"Tuvok," there was gentleness in his voice as he hailed me. Something soft and sad and urgent at the same time. I wanted to waive him away but was too weak to argue. "Don't tell a word to anybody. Listen to me. Nothing happened there. Don't tell a word."

The hell I would not.

But I did not. I could hardly believe it, still less explain. I wanted to tell the Captain at once when she leaned to me in the Sickbay - worry and tenderness in her eyes. I wanted to tell the EMH - it was what I *had* to do, it was my responsibility. But I kept silent.

As if he put a seal on my lips. And, maybe, he did. To have me coming to him again and again later to ask for what I never wanted to get.

* * *

Of course, I remembered.

My memory could be masterly in omitting things - from the last time when I had seen him on the brig to my first visit in his quarters. He was said to need my help - my *guidance* - and for the first time I was trapped between logical assumptions of whether I could refuse or could not. Then from the meetings that looked so normal, that filled me with the utmost content at the success he was doing, I was doing with him - to the building pressure in my mind that I tried to ignore and then feared and that would probably make me snap again, this time irrevocably, if he was not there, if I didn't hear his voice in my mind once:

*Don't do it again to yourself, Tuvok. You know you don't need to.*

And was there such a long way from where it started to the way I cradled his face in my palms now and looked down in the black brightness of his eyes?

I didn't stop him as he sank on his knees in front of me - I just reached to him, my hands into the softness of his hair, running my fingers over his scull that I still remembered crushing against the wall.

A moment before his mouth enveloped my cock easily, down almost to my crotch in one smooth movement, I heard the phrase that I expected and dreaded and still knew that he would say it - because it was every time the same and every time shocked me inevitably.

*Hurt me if you want. Just please don't leave me.*

I would never hurt him again.

His lips on my cock were soft and clinging, sliding easily up and down it as he worked his head over my crotch. His hair was not smooth any more, flying against my groin, and he tucked the strand away absently, not breaking the rhythm. I pulled his hand away, not letting him do it. I liked the touch of his hair against my skin. I felt him smile - maybe, he caught my thought - and, maybe, I wanted him to catch it. Or did I? I did not know where the truth was now.

I reached for him, putting my hands on his shoulders slightly - the touch that would be too much for me in any other situation but was almost too little now. I pulled him up. He did not resist. His face looked strangely young among the strands of curly hair falling over his eyes - delirious, happy. I could hardly believe it but I knew he was happy. I could not ask why.

I slipped on my knees in front of him, reaching for his cock, and this time it was hard.

His pubic hair was curly and the brighter shade - as his eyelashes were, as his hair must have been - and I felt the slight blend of soap and his own smell, delicate and heady, sweet and savory at the same time. Was this smell what I kept coming for? I could see how his abdomen tensed, the flat narrow belly drawing in when I touched him - and I felt his hands lie lightly on my head, not pulling me forward, just touching me. I wrapped my arms around him and continued working my mouth up and down - and I felt him leaning back slightly against my arms - and as I looked up, I saw him toss his head back, too. I liked to see it. I liked what I was doing, liked how it felt... It felt like...

Let me guess. Maybe, like being alive?

He was close - I knew it upon the subtle shivers going over his body - and I was just a little bit sorry it was so soon. Then he freed himself from the circle of my arms carefully. He knew what I wanted. He always did. It was not easy for him - he closed his eyes to fight himself - as he always fought his own demons in the privacy of darkness. But usually it were much more vicious demons and impossible to fight.

*It is not necessary...*

*Shh... I want it this way.*

As always. Where did his way become my way? And could all my meditation sessions wipe this feeling of giving up the control from my mind?

He stepped back - just two stumbling steps without looking - and fell on the bed, pulling me over him, spreading his legs. There was such precision in his movements - he knew how to give in - the experience, acquired willingly and unwillingly, as I knew so well, as I could never forget, even if we would never talk about it again.

I took care to be gentle with him this time. He had everything ready at his bed, showing me with his hand blindly - and for a moment my pride kicked in that he was so ready, did not have doubts we'd finish like this. But it died away as soon as I pressed my slick cock against his shut opening.

*It's okay... Just go on.*

His face was distorted briefly at the moment of penetration and I plaited my fingers into his hair, keeping him with me. His breath became smoother as the pain was over, more in cadence with my own breath as I moved sharply setting the rhythm of the thrusts.

At the moments like this it seemed to me that I knew the truth. And even the other one could not argue with me.

At the moments like this I did not know that the man in bed with me - whose pale face I looked down to - was a criminal and in my charge - and that what happened was the twisted and erroneous thing I would be sorry for all my life. I did not know that a while later - half an hour, even less - I would be myself again. The Tuvok you know.

Not now. Not when his face was flushed like that - in the manner of Betazoid, when the skin seemed to be not pink but the same pale and glowing from inside - I could not give it up. Even for what I was - and, maybe, I was not exactly what I thought I was any more.

I looked in his eyes and for once they were so defenseless that I seemed to be able to read even through their impenetrable darkness - drunk, the same drunk as the smile that flickered on his lips briefly and vanished as if he was not sure in his face expression.

His hands flew - on my nape and against my temples - the pale wings of the exotic tender birds - and I caught his fingers with my mouth, squeezing the knuckles between my teeth. I never stopped thrusting. I saw him smile again and released his hair for putting my hands on his face, dark against white, the slight film of moistness of his temples burning cool on the tips of my fingers.

I heard him gasp. For a moment his eyes became plaintive - begging - and greedy at the same time, fixing on me - and it was not fear in them, I knew what it was. Inevitable. I wanted to stop it, anything just to change the look in his eyes from this hopeful one.


It was not really a thought, just a ghost of it because he knew he did not have to ask and it would not change anything all the same. He probably could not stop himself in time. I felt his hands lie on my wrists, so gentle, almost imploring - and they stayed gentle even when he pulled on them and I had to fight him for leaving them as they were. I steeled my muscles. He could not win me, even with all his force.

I would not let him do it. The tips of my fingers were just in a fraction of inch from the meld points but I would not let him move them - no matter how his eyes begged for it, how his body moving in cadence with my thrusting urged me to do it. It was one thing that I could not do - despite the sordidness of our affair, despite the crimes that we both perpetrated and remembered too well - despite the power he had over me in these moments.

*I would not do it again.*

He sighed. He let me go. I wanted to kiss him.

I locked my lips on his, losing the sight of his unhappy delirious face - and he answered me, eagerly and passionately as always - and I felt a pang of pain for him, for his openness to me, for my knowledge about him that was deeper than anyone else had - but still couldn't help him. I heard him cry out in my mouth as I moved sharper and wilder, grinding him down to the bed with my pelvis. He thrashed under me, probably half in pain, and as I convulsed coming, I felt his cock pulse against my belly and the warm fluid leaked between us, smearing on my skin. Just as his blood had been warm and tickling when I had raped him on the floor of the brig.

I groaned. The tiredness and bliss was rolling on me so sweetly - and for a moment I thought I would succumb to them. But I did not. It was over.

We lay tangled, his arms wrapped around my ribcage gently but with the subtle clearance between us so that I could free from this half-embrace as soon as it would come to my mind. And I knew it would be soon. We both knew it.

*Have to go?*

*Not yet.*

His soft curly hair was slightly moist under my cheek and the touch of his skin was cool, cool as I loved it. Too cool to be comfortable for long.

The sheets were crumpled under us, the traces of our fluids drying quickly, still slightly sticky at the accidental touch. With the corner of my eye I looked around his little quarters, overstuffed with the plants, and in what I saw I already felt the signs of my sanity coming back. There was something so sad in these flowers he cultivated - as if they were not alive but a kind of fake - not because of their flaws or on his fault - but just because it had to be like that, because it could not be in any other way with what he was.

He tried, I knew. He was ruining himself trying to be as people wanted him - as he thought I wanted him - trying to be something that he was not. Being a gardener instead of being a slayer, too. But he could not. I knew it. Perhaps I had found the truth then, when untangling the net of his mind in my fierce invasion - deeper and deeper, to the very first moment when he had been broken, when rape had become the sign of affection to him and death the sign of junction.

I could not help him - no matter how we both pretended I tried.

"I need a shower."

His arms opened easily and when I stood up from the bed, everything was over. I gathered my clothes from the floor, not looking at him, seeing just with my peripheral sight as he pulled the bright Betazoid-style patchwork quilt over himself. I knew he would stay like that until I leave. There was no question of us doing anything together now.

I stood under the sonic shower and felt it remove any trace of him from me. Clean. Ready to return to the Captain and others, to face the crew, to carry on my duties.

Nobody would know.

My reflection looked at me - chaste and cold and shut down. There was nothing in it that I would not want to see. Exemplary. And as I put on the uniform again, all the evidence was gone. I nodded to the Vulcan that gazed levelly at me from the mirror - and thought that, maybe, it was the only other one that existed.

As if.

The lights in the room were half-gone and I could barely see his face, the strands of longish rippled hair falling over its sides. He looked worn-out - no wonder if he felt the same tired as I was. His eyes were covered with the pale trembling eyelids edged with the golden eyelashes. So soft and thick and feathery...

I knew it. I had to forget it now.

I thought I would leave without looking back - but then I could not. It was not easy - nothing like after our usual sessions that made both of us feel better, feel doing something right.

I looked at him. He sensed it. And without opening his eyes he raised his hand to me in the gesture that was an abomination appropriated by him - and he knew I would not answer him with it, would be appalled - but still he did it - two fingers reached to me in the emptiness.

I turned away. It was more than I wanted to see. As I walked out, the doors slid together behind me softly - and I entered the code sealing them again.


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