|Force of Instinct
Author: Bad Faery PM
Rush has an unusual reaction to a plant found during a mission, and Belle gets to deal with the fallout. Possibly dub-con-y although neither participant is doing it intentionally.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Dr. N. Rush & Belle - Chapters: 6 - Words: 30,688 - Reviews: 84 - Favs: 56 - Follows: 52 - Updated: 03-16-13 - Published: 06-25-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8255644
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Belle stirred and stretched lazily, her body aching in the most wonderful way. She felt like she'd run a marathon, and she smiled senselessly at the universe until she suddenly realized Nick wasn't beside her.
That snapped her into full wakefulness, and she sat up, looking around the room. "Nick?"
Of Rush there was no sign, and she willed herself not to panic as she took stock. Their clothes were still in a tangle on the floor, but his jeans were missing, which could either be a bad sign or a good one. Clearly, he'd gone somewhere, and the thought that he'd bothered to dress at all was reassuring. Last night he'd demonstrated that he could once again read and write Ancient, and he seemed more coherent. The thorns had to be wearing off.
It would be good to have the real Nicholas Rush back. She missed his dry wit, and without his brilliance the ship wouldn't be able to function. Still, for the last thirty-six hours she'd been the center of his universe, and Belle admitted to herself that she'd miss that too. It had been nice to feel so loved and worshipped after being alone for so long.
He'd been acting strange before they fell asleep, and Belle got out of bed, dressing quickly in her jeans and his shirt, her own still a shredded mess. Concern filled her, and she left the room, checking the halls for any sign of him. If he'd gotten his mind back, his first destination would probably be the console room, although the fact that he'd left his shoes and white shirt on the floor wasn't encouraging.
The radio was still a smashed pile of components, so Belle explored on foot, checking the showers, the mess hall, and the console room for any sign of Nick. She questioned anyone she could get to stop and talk to her, but most people turned and headed the other way when they spotted her. At first she couldn't figure out what was wrong, but she quickly realized that she and Nick had been putting on quite a show for the crew over the last two days.
Face burning at the thought of the rumors that must be going around, she hurried through the corridors, hoping against hope that Nick had actually seen the need to seek medical attention without being dragged in to see TJ. Unfortunately the blond medic hadn't seen him either, and Belle leaned against the wall outside the infirmary torn between worry and frustration. No one had seen him. He wasn't on the observation deck or the bridge or any of his usual haunts, and this was not like Nick at all.
Something was wrong.
Cold fear coursed through her veins as another possibility presented itself. Nick might be avoiding her specifically. Perhaps he'd been so appalled at finding himself in bed with her that he'd fled his quarters without bothering to dress fully. "Shit," she cursed quietly, guilt making her stomach clench. She'd known he wasn't in his right mind, and she'd still had sex with him. He'd said he'd always wanted her, but that could easily have been the plant talking. She'd taken advantage of him.
Seeking him out might do more harm than good, but Belle didn't feel that she had a choice. If Nick was still suffering the thorns' effects, he could be in danger. He could be lost and frightened. She had to make sure that he was safe. Once she'd done that, she could apologize and assure him that she'd never come near him again. It wouldn't be easy to completely avoid him, but she'd ask for her duties to be reassigned and do her best.
Tears stinging her eyes, she moved deeper into the heart of Destiny, away from the populated areas as she strained her ears for any sign of Nick. This wasn't what she'd wanted. This was the last thing she wanted. She'd hoped this was the start of a new phase of their relationship- lovers as well as tentative friends- but instead she'd ruined everything with her impatience. If she'd waited for him to come out of it so they could talk it over, maybe they could have had a chance, but instead she'd thrown herself into bed with him even though she knew he wasn't thinking straight. She was no better than Regina, taking a man without his consent.
She didn't know how she'd ever apologize, but she had to try, acknowledge the wrongdoing even though Nick's forgiveness was out of reach. Shaking her head, Belle realized she needed to stop thinking of him as Nick. She'd lost that right. He was Doctor Rush to her now.
A faint sound caught her attention, a faint scrabbling noise, and she moved toward it. "Doctor Rush?"
A whimpering, keening noise echoed around her, the sound cutting off abruptly like he'd clenched his teeth. "Are you all right?" she called, the noise worrying her.
She stepped further into the shadows, movement catching her eye as she blinked rapidly, trying to will her eyes to adjust. Rush was cowering in a dark corner, his hair hanging in his face as he tried to back away from her, holding his hands up in front of him to ward her off. Feeling sick at what her actions had done to him, she halted at once, trying to give him space.
"Stay back," he rasped, and she immediately took a step backwards, crouching to put herself on level with him, trying not to tower over him or do anything else that could be construed as a threat.
"I won't hurt you," she promised, and her heart ached at his hoarse, humorless laugh. She'd already hurt him. Of course he didn't trust her. Groping for something to say, Belle looked down, licking her dry lips.
His tortured cry made her jump as Rush lunged at her, bringing himself up short before he touched her and darting back into his corner, visibly shaking. As she watched, he curled himself into a ball, his arms wrapped around his head. "Go away."
The hysterical thought that maybe he'd feel better if he hit her crossed her mind, but Belle couldn't quite bring herself to offer him a free shot. "I'll go away, but you can't stay here. Let TJ look after you, please, Doctor Rush?"
He shook his head violently, his skull knocking against the metal wall. He was whimpering, sounding like he was in agony, and Belle was afraid to leave him. If she did, he could hide himself away even deeper, and they might never find him again. She was the last person in the world he wanted, but at the moment she was all he had. "Doctor Rush, you're not well. TJ can help you. Please come with me, just to the infirmary. Then I'll go."
Taking a risk, she stepped closer, gasping as he cried out, his nails digging into his scalp. Her presence upset him so much that he was hurting himself, and she stumbled backward. She couldn't help him. She'd find TJ and tell her where she'd left Nick, hoping the other woman would be able to find him. All Belle was doing was making things worse.
"I'm sorry!" she gasped, the guilt choking her as she backed away, tears blinding her. She turned to leave, cursing her clumsiness as she tripped over her own feet and fell, catching herself on the heels of her hands, her body jolting from the impact.
An instant later warm hands turned her over, guiding her to lean back against the wall as Nick whimpered in dismay, running his hands over her as he checked for injuries. He was breathing too hard and too fast, his hands shaking as he caught her wrists, lifting her hands so he could inspect them. "Doctor Rush?"
He keened at the sound of his name, pressing his face into her hands, his tongue rasping over her palms. "Belle," he moaned, the sound tortured. "Belle, run."
"Nick?" A moment ago he'd been terrified of her, and now he was licking her hands and clinging to her like she was his salvation. None of this made any sense.
A snarl met her ears, then he yanked her into his arms, burying his face against her throat as he started to lick, breathless little moans escaping him as he straddled her lap. "Yes, yes... Mine. My mate. Mine."
That was the thorns talking, and Belle wouldn't make the same mistake twice. She put her hands on his shoulders and shoved, Nick struggling to hold onto her for a long moment before he tore himself away with a feral cry, moving to sit against the opposite wall, his arms wrapped around his knees. "I'm sorry!" he gasped. "I'm not right- not safe- Belle, run!"
She'd gotten him out of his corner, and that was a start. "Doctor Rush, please come with me. Let me take you to the infirmary."
He slammed the back of his head into the wall, looking at her with agonized eyes. "Why won't you go?"
"Because you're not right." She gave him his own words back, seeing him shudder. "I can't leave you like this. You need help."
Rush curled in on himself, his voice muffled by his hands as he covered his face. "Why do you care? After what I did to you?"
His voice was so thick with loathing that she could barely make out the words. When she did, they made no sense. "After what you did to me?"
He clawed at his head, whimpering. "Took you, forced you, hurt you, so sorry. Belle, go."
Her heart pounded in her chest as his meaning registered. Nick wasn't upset because she'd taken advantage of him; he was upset because he thought he'd taken advantage of her. If he wasn't in such a state, she'd be tempted to laugh at the misunderstanding. "Sweetheart," she murmured, moving to touch his shoulder, and he cried out, clawing harder. Belle caught his hands, holding them tightly in her own so he couldn't inflict any more damage. "You didn't force me."
He keened, fighting her hold, and she tightened her grip. "Stop that. Stop. Breathe, Nick. Try to calm down. Listen to me. You didn't force me. I wanted it. I wanted you."
His eyes met hers, dark with anguish and desperate hope. "You're lying," he rasped. "Trying to protect me."
"I'm not that nice," she informed him, releasing his hand so she could press her fingers against one of the bite marks she'd left on his neck. Nick hissed, arching into the touch. "Remember this? You didn't take anything I didn't want to give."
His grip on her other hand tightened almost painfully, and Belle pressed her advantage. "I thought about it, about what being with you would be like. I didn't think you wanted me."
"Always," he rasped, hope slowly spreading over his face. "Always wanted you. Always."
"I thought you didn't," she admitted, letting some of the hurt she'd felt when she woke up alone color her voice, "I thought you regretted it. That I took advantage of you."
He whimpered, yanking her into his arms so he could wrap himself around her, and Belle sighed, feeling the tension start to bleed out of her. "Thought I hurt you. That you'd hate me. Didn't trust myself not to do it again."
He'd fled to protect her, and that soothed the hurt. "It's all right, sweetheart," she assured him, rubbing the back of his neck. "You didn't hurt me at all. I wanted it too."
His tongue rasped over her throat, and she smiled at the familiar sensation, burrowing her fingers into his thick hair. "That feels nice," she praised, and he rumbled, licking more enthusiastically.
The licks turned gradually into open mouthed kisses and gentle scrapes of his teeth, and Belle eased him away from her, seeing terror in his eyes as he jerked back as far as he could with her still in his lap. "Hush," she soothed, "I just want to talk for a second."
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, visibly trying to regain control of himself. She stroked his hair, trying to help him calm down, and asked, "How do you feel? Honestly?"
"It's like there's something else… inside me. Something wild," his voice was husky, and this shouldn't be as much of a turn-on for her as it was.
Swallowing hard, Belle forced herself to think, her mind racing. "Is it some kind of parasite? Should we be worried about this?" She'd assumed the thorns were just exaggerating different parts of Nick's personality, and the thought of it being some kind of alien creature that was controlling his actions was terrifying.
To her relief, Nick immediately shook his head. "No, it's all me. My instincts, the primal parts."
"Your id," she suggested, grateful that she'd read Freud. Nick nodded at her assessment. "Can you control it?"
He gave her a scorching look and observed, "You're not naked."
Flushing, she tripped over her words. "Is that what… it wants?"
"That's what I want," he corrected, tightening his grip on her. "That's what I always want- you naked and screaming for me."
At the moment, Belle thought his plan sounded like a very good one. She just had one last question. "The biting?"
His eyes darkened, his gaze running over the bruises on her throat like a caress. "Mine," he growled, his voice low and rough. "Now everyone knows. No one can take you away from me. You're mine."
Her breath caught at the sheer possessiveness of his tone. Belle had never cared to be chattel, but having Nick declare her his filled her with nothing but pleasure. "And you're mine," she purred, smiling at his immediate nod. There was little enough on Destiny that she could call her own, but if Nick belonged to her, she had all she needed. They belonged to each other.
"All yours," he agreed, rumbling with pleasure as she ran her fingers over the bruises on his neck before cradling the back of his head, pulling him down for a kiss. His lips caressed hers with surprising tenderness before he pulled back, looking almost bashful as he murmured, "Love you."
Belle's heart melted, and she snuggled into his embrace. "I love you too, Nick." She hadn't realized it before all this started, but now she couldn't imagine not loving this complex man. She'd admired his brilliance and enjoyed his wit, but she'd somehow missed the sheer depth of emotion he was capable of, and that mistake shamed her. She wouldn't make it again.
He looked so delighted by the words that tears filled her eyes. Whimpering at the sight of them, Nick bore her back onto the floor, nuzzling the side of her face to comfort her. "I'm not sad, sweetheart," she promised, wrapping her arms around him. "I'm happy. I'm happy about us."
Nick beamed down at her, nudging her nose with his, and she gave him a watery smile in return. They were officially an us, and she couldn't remember the last time she'd been so happy. This would be good for him, good for both of them. Hopefully knowing that he had her permanently in his corner would help him relax his guard a bit.
That was a thought for later. It had been hours since they last made love, and they were long overdue. "My mate," she murmured, and he lit up, rumbling happily at her. She was just about to suggest they return to his quarters- their quarters now- when he lowered his head, closing his teeth gently around her throat as he started to suck.
Moaning, she arched her neck to give him better access, his hands exploring her through her thin tee shirt, fingers plucking impatiently at the fabric. Concerned that his shirt was about to meet the same fate as her blouse, she grasped the hem, pushing Nick off of her just long enough to wrest it off over her head. He growled appreciatively at the sight of her, and even the cold floor wasn't enough to dampen the mood. Beds were overrated.
Gentle fingers traced over the marks he'd left on her, Nick humming at the sight of them. "All mine," he said with satisfaction, leaning down to lick them.
"All yours," she agreed, and he nipped playfully at her collarbone, letting out a snuffly laugh when she yelped. "Silly," she said fondly, carding her fingers through his hair.
He lifted himself off of her despite her noise of protest, divesting her of the rest of her clothing in a matter of moments. His dexterity had certainly improved since the previous day, and she took advantage of his distracted attempt to get his own jeans off and caress her at the same time to reverse their positions, straddling his hips.
Moaning, he arched beneath her, his hard length pressing against her core. Giving into temptation she ground herself down, familiar heat flooding her. Nick had given her endless amounts of pleasure, and it was high time she returned the favor. Belle ran her hands over his chest, pinching his nipples and relishing his choked cry.
"Belle…" he growled a warning, gripping her hips as he tried to flip them back over, and she pinched harder, tormenting the tight buds until he subsided. "Let me touch you," he pleaded, fingers combing down her back.
"It's my turn to touch you," she crooned, and he let out a frustrated whimper. Belle replaced her fingers with her lips and tongue, lapping at each nipple in turn before scraping each with her teeth until he keened desperately, arching beneath her. "Mine."
Rewarding him for his compliance, she nuzzled each mark she'd left on him, reminding him that she'd been an active participant in their earlier activities. "You know, everyone saw you like this, saw you with bites and scratches all over you."
Far from seeming embarrassed, he rumbled with delight, and the look on his face was almost comically proud when she glanced up at him. "You like that, don't you?" she purred, kissing her way down his chest and over his quivering stomach, "Everyone knows what we were doing."
"Pleased you," he said, voice smug, and she rested her cheek against his stomach as she giggled, then flicked her tongue into his navel.
"Yes, you did, sweetheart," she agreed, admiring the way his cock twitched impatiently at the endearment. "Now I'm going to please you."
She ran her tongue up the length of his shaft, catching the head between her lips to draw him deeper as Nick let out a growl of pleasure. Wrapping her hand around the base of him, she slid her mouth down as far as she could, loving the desperate whines that met her ears as she teased the underside with her tongue.
Nick's hands plunged into her hair, trying to tug her away, and she batted at him until he stopped. He'd pleased her again and again and a few more times after that. The least she could do was return the favor. A rhythmic thumping noise broke her concentration, and she glanced up to see him knocking the back of his head against the floor, his face contorted with what looked like agony.
He let out a whimpering cry as she took her mouth off of him for a moment. "What's wrong?"
When he tried to tug her up to him, she warded him off, giving the base of his shaft a gentle squeeze of warning. "You," he rasped, "Have to please you. Can't be greedy."
"Oh, sweetheart." Belle pressed a tender kiss to the tip, relishing his grunt of pleasure. "This pleases me. Just enjoy it. You deserve it."
He flopped back with a growl and a long-suffering expression that made her chuckle, muffling her laughter by taking him in her mouth again. Her giggles faded as she experimented. Nick had her at a disadvantage. Over the past day, he'd learned what she liked in great detail, but he hadn't given her the same chance to learn his weaknesses, and Belle didn't like not knowing things.
Nick seemed highly in favor of everything she did, but she quickly discovered that his preference was for long, slow, deep strokes and firm pressure from her tongue. Guttural groans rewarded her when she did that, and she found a rhythm, her free hand caressing everywhere she could reach before cradling his balls, loving how they tightened for her.
Near-constant whimpers and groans filled the air as Nick's hips started to rock up to meet her, little movements that spoke of his desperation, and Belle doubled her efforts, flicking her tongue against the places she'd discovered made him shiver. Strong hands clutched her shoulders, trying to pull her away, and she released her hold on him to grab his hands and squeeze, encouraging him to let go.
Beneath her he tensed, his body going rigid for a long moment before a howl rent the air, his seed flooding her mouth in desperate bursts, and she drank him down greedily. She'd pleased her mate, and it was wonderful to feel him come apart and know that it was because of her. It was no wonder he enjoyed doing this so much.
With a final swipe of her tongue, she released him and crawled up his body, trailing her fingers over his heaving chest as she kissed his forehead. Dazed eyes blinked open to meet hers, and she smiled down at him, leaning over to brush her lips against his.
Belle gasped as Nick thrust his tongue into her mouth, growling as he licked the taste of himself off of her. "Mine!" he snarled against her lips, and she suddenly found herself on her back with him looming over her, gazing down at her nude body ravenously.
"Your turn," she agreed weakly, and his smile turned lascivious as he ducked his head, running his tongue over her in long strokes.
"All mine," he rumbled, nuzzling happily against her breasts, his bearded cheek tickling her sensitive skin. She giggled at the sensation, and he beamed up at her before doing it again, rubbing against her like a cat.
"My sweet Nick…" she said fondly, stroking his hair. How had she never realized how much pent-up emotion there was inside of him? She'd seen the brilliant scientist, but if it wasn't for the thorns, she might never have realized how much love he had to offer.
At least she realized it now, and it was incredibly sweet to be the sole focus of that love. In time perhaps she could help him connect with the others, but for now, she felt oddly territorial of Nick. He was her mate- hers and hers alone. "You're all mine."
Fevered lips collided with hers as Nick settled himself on top of her, his hands stroking possessively over her sides before slipping beneath her to squeeze her ass. She wrapped her legs around his hips, flattered and somehow unsurprised to feel he was already getting aroused again. If they could find a way to distill the thorns' essence, they'd make a fortune on Earth.
The idea made her laugh, and she broke the kiss, Nick looking down at her in confusion before he laughed too, content to share the moment even if he didn't understand. He swiped his tongue over her lips and kissed the tip of her nose, then moved down her body, pressing random kisses to every bit of her he could reach before insinuating himself between her legs with a hopeful rumble, "Mine?"
"Yours," she agreed, her eyes slipping closed at the first long lick. Nick was a merciless lover, exploiting every weakness she had to turn her into a trembling, writhing wreck. He growled as he lapped at her, and Belle echoed every noise he made with one of her own, her cries echoing through the narrow corridors. Anyone approaching would think she was being murdered, but after what Nick had done to Young, she doubted anyone would be coming to her rescue. That certainly suited her.
Her back arched convulsively as he thrust his fingers into her, curling them to rub against the spot he'd discovered earlier and making her world shatter with one final lick. Giving her only a moment to catch her breath, he returned to his task, licking her until her throat was sore from screaming, her muscles about to lock up from the sheer overload of pleasure. "Nick, stop!"
He grumbled at the command, and she grabbed him by the back of his neck to yank him down for a kiss. "Are you trying to kill me?" she demanded.
Nick nuzzled her jawline, licking his way to her ear so he could nibble on the lobe. "Your fault," he growled, "Delicious."
"Oh…" she sighed, her eyelids fluttering as her body responded viscerally to those words.
She wriggled beneath him, cradling him between her thighs, and Nick grunted as his hardness came into contact with her core. "Yes," she breathed before he could ask, and he scraped his teeth over her throat, pushing into her in one long stroke.
"Oh, yes," she whispered again as he took hold of her legs, moving them to his shoulders so he could push even deeper, his dark eyes intent on hers, worry in their depths. They'd tried this once before in his quarters, and he'd gotten upset for reasons she still didn't quite understand. Belle resolved not to let the same thing happen again.
She arched into each deep, slow thrust, reaching up to bury her hands in his hair, scratching her nails lightly against his scalp. "My Nick. My mate," she murmured, holding the eye contact as some of his worry faded. "I love you, my Nick."
"My Belle. All mine. Always," he answered. The worry was slowly being replaced by a desperate hope, and Belle smiled tenderly up at him.
"All yours. Always," she agreed. No matter what happened, whether they made it back to Earth or not, she and Nick belonged together. It had been an unconventional courtship, but they were an unconventional couple. What mattered was that they were together now. "Forever."
Nick's eyes were suspiciously bright as he smiled down at her, then he slid his arms around her, pulling her with him as he sat up. Feeling teary herself, Belle wrapped herself around him, feeling fiercely protective. Nick was safe here in her arms and in her body, and she would let no harm come to him. He'd suffered more than enough for one lifetime.
They were holding onto each other so tightly that they could barely move. With her in his lap, he was able to slide almost impossibly deep, and Belle wished they could stay like this forever, that reality would never come calling. She clenched her inner muscles around him, drawing him deeper yet, and Nick groaned, meeting her action with tiny movements of his hips, barely rocking against her.
It seemed to last an eternity, and it still ended all too soon, pleasure washing over both of them at the same moment as they gazed into each other's eyes, their breath mingling in soft cries of pleasure as they clung to each other with desperation.
Sighing, Belle let her head drop to rest against his shoulder, her eyes slipping shut as she felt Nick kiss her hair. "We're okay now?" she verified, not certain how anything could be wrong after that.
He chuckled, breath warm against the crown of her head. "Better than," he agreed.
"You scared me when you ran off," she admitted, and his hold on her tightened.
"Thought I hurt you," he murmured, "And I wanted to do it again. Felt like a monster."
"You're not a monster," she said at once, seeing the irony in having to reassure two very different men of the same thing. "You'd never hurt me, Nick."
"Never," he vowed, and she gasped as he lifted her off the floor, standing up with her still wrapped around him.
"Back to your quarters?" she suggested. She'd been so relieved to have Nick back that the cool air and hard metal floors had barely registered, but Belle found herself missing the comfortable bed.
"Our nest," he corrected her with a rumble of satisfaction, setting off down the corridor with her in his arms.
"Nick!" she squealed, tugging at a handful of his hair. "Clothes!"
He grumbled, turning to kick at the tangled pile of fabric, and she snickered, squirming in his arms. "You already put on a show for the crew," she reminded him, and he looked aggrieved but put her down.
"Eventually I'll probably be embarrassed about that," he muttered, yanking on his jeans, and zipping them up quickly, not bothering with the button as he picked her up again. She yelped, clutching the pile that was her jeans and shoes in her hands, having only had time to get his shirt on. It was better than nothing.
"So your primal side is a bit of an exhibitionist?" she asked archly, and he gave her a look that could have melted iron.
"My primal side wanted to take you in the middle of the mess hall," he growled, and her heart skipped a beat. "I still think it's a good idea."
The idea was not without its appeal, but Belle wasn't ready to agree quite yet. "Nest first," she suggested pragmatically, and Nick picked up his pace, clearly eager to reach their destination. "After that… maybe the console room?" she suggested, and he stumbled to a stop, looking down at her in surprise before a grin nearly split his face in two.
"Clever mate," he praised, stealing a kiss that took her breath away before setting off at a faster pace than before.
"Your mate," she agreed, snuggling into his embrace, and Nick rumbled happily at the touch.