Author: Bad Faery PM
After escaping seemingly unharmed from alien captivity, Rush and Belle discover a rather peculiar side-effect. Warning: Dub-con of the "aliens made them do it" varietyRated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Dr. N. Rush & Belle - Words: 5,016 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 5 - Published: 09-14-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8525217
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rush leaned heavily on Belle as they made the walk to his quarters, his miraculous return from the dead attracting a few stares. He wasn't in the mood to deal with it right now, and he'd really have to have a few words with Young at some point, but at the moment his bones felt like they were made out of taffy and just reaching his quarters took all the strength he had.
Belle dumped him onto his bed and helped him unfasten the suit before pulling away. "Can you take it from here?"
He waved her off with a tired nod, and she leaned down to kiss the top of his head. "Thanks for rescuing me."
"Pure self-interest. Without you, I'm stuck with Brody and Eli." She snorted, shaking her head at him fondly, and Rush still couldn't figure out why his pretty little assistant seemed to actually like him, but he had to admit he was glad she did. Out of everyone on Destiny, Belle was the one person he'd missed during his unplanned sojurn with the aliens.
"Get some sleep, Nick," she advised, leaving his quarters to find her own, and he barely had the strength to get the suit off and flop back down on the bed before sleep claimed him. The nightmares started soon after, dreams of water and confinement and pressure, and when he woke he was trying to claw the skin off his arm, some kind of maddening itch just below the skin.
Scratching didn't help, but under the light he couldn't see anything wrong with his arm. There was no rash, no irritation beyond what he'd done to himself. He'd just resolved to ignore it for the time being and see TJ when he had a chance when pain exploded in his chest, his internal organs feeling like they'd been doused in molten lava. Rush sat down hard on the edge of the bed, wondering if he was having a heart attack, when the pain faded somewhat only to return moments later with even more intensity. Fumbling for his radio, he realized he didn't have it and he'd have to get himself to the infirmary.
Just putting one foot in front of the other was agonizing, his joints feeling like they were being wrenched out of their sockets with every step, and he clung to the wall of the corridor to keep himself upright, hearing a strangled voice behind him. "Nick?"
Gritting his teeth with effort, he turned to see Belle coming his way, her hair sweat-matted and hanging in her face. She too was hunched over and clinging to the wall, her other arm wrapped protectively around her stomach. "You too?" she gasped, and he nodded, hoping his head wouldn't fall off. "What did they do to us?"
"I don't know," he grunted, putting out a hand to steady her, and the results were instantaneous. The moment he touched her skin the itch faded to manageable levels, and the pain receded.
Belle caught her breath. "What did you-?" She cried out when he dropped his hand, and Rush hissed, the agony returning with a vengeance.
They grabbed for each other at the same time, their fingers twining together, and once again the pain decreased. "Come on," he managed, tugging on her hand to lead her into his quarters. The throbbing pain was still there although muted, and he tested a theory by reaching for her other hand.
"Skin contact," Belle said at once as the pain level dropped again at the additional touch. "Skin contact makes it go away."
"More is better," he finished the thought, grunting with the effort it took to let go of her hands and wrest his shirts off over his head to join his waistcoat on the floor. The second he'd done that, he grabbed her hands, pressing them against his bare chest and gasping in relief. The skin around Belle's eye was still tight with pain, and he jerked his head at her top. "Shirt off."
She flushed at the command. "I'm not wearing a bra."
Rolling his eyes, Rush promised, "I'll turn the light off. Now take your damn shirt off."
Despite the pain of being out of contact as he lurched toward the light, Belle managed a pained giggle. "Your bedside manner... leaves much to be desired."
Once the room was dark, Rush all but flung himself at Belle, hauling her against him. She wrapped her arms around him tightly, pressing herself deeper into the embrace, her head just below his chin as they clung to each other, their legs tangling together for good measure. "Oh, that's good. That's better," she gasped, and he agreed. The itching was fading away to nothing, the searing pain releasing its grip on him until he could think again.
"What could cause this?" Belle asked, her voice steadier now.
"Some kind of withdrawal?" he suggested. The medical field was not his forte.
"Maybe. Hopefully it's temporary," she said fervently, and Rush scowled into the darkness at her words. While he didn't want to have to spend the rest of his life clinging to Belle's hand just so they wouldn't be in agony, he could think of far worse problems than being forced to snuggle with his assistant. He'd been eyeing Belle since Icarus, and while he wished she was in his bed under better circumstances, he wasn't sorry she was there.
"We'll figure it out in the morning," he sighed, exhaustion catching up to him again.
Belle rubbed his back gently, the touch meant to comfort. "I'm glad you're not dead," she whispered, and he chuckled, resting his cheek against her hair.
Waking up in Belle's arms wasn't as awkward as it could have been although she dove for her shirt the moment he released her even though he made a show of averting his eyes from her body.
Once he let go of her, the pain didn't come back, and that left room for other thoughts like wondering just how bad it would look if someone caught them leaving his quarters together. In the end he stuck his head out the door like a rabbit, cautiously double-checking that the corridor was empty before he signaled for Belle to join him, feeling like a teenager who was trying to sneak around. It was ridiculous.
Belle went back to her own quarters to get herself ready for the day while he went to find Young and iron out exactly what their cover story was going to be since "deliberately left for dead" wouldn't exactly boost morale, and he had just written the events of the previous night off as a stress-induced physical reaction when Rush noticed he was scratching at his arm.
Vaguely he wondered if skin to skin contact with anyone would solve the problem, and he confused the hell out of Eli by shaking the younger man's hand when he got to the console room. Even after that his skin still felt like something was burrowing in it, and he had his answer. Belle was his cure, and she was nowhere in sight. Rush had always tried to make a point of not thinking about where Belle went when she wasn't with him, but now he had an excuse to wonder where she was.
The itching grew worse with every passing minute, and it was difficult to concentrate on work when he expected to be racked with pain at any moment. "Sorry I'm late!" Belle chirped, her voice just a shade too bright, "They needed an extra pair of hands in the hydroponics lab."
She leaned over his shoulder, ostensively to see what he was doing, and pressed her hand firmly against the back of his neck under his hair. Rush exhaled sharply in relief when the itching faded, walking her through his plans for the day in exhausting detail so she had an excuse to stay near him. Eli was looking at him like he'd lost his mind, but it was worth it in order to get the touch he craved.
Belle, mercifully, was a tactile person, so her touching him didn't look as odd as the reverse would have. Even so, they attracted more than a few strange looks from Eli as she made a point of continually brushing against him over the course of their day. The frequent contact warded off all but the faintest itch, and Rush had just decided that this situation was eminently manageable when he found himself scratching again, looking around to see that Belle had fallen asleep on the floor leaning up against the wall.
While Belle was accustomed to pulling long hours with the rest of them, she'd never had his stamina and generally begged off hours before he did, usually trying and failing to convince him to get some sleep at the same time. It had never been a problem until now. "Belle!"
She started awake when he called her name, blinking in confusion before her nails dug into her forearm. "Hell," she muttered, still looking mostly asleep as she dragged herself across the room to sit at his feet, her hand sliding under denim to wrap around his calf as she rested her head against his knee, already out again. Eli was blatantly gaping at them, and Rush ignored him as he turned his attention back to his console, one hand straying to stroke Belle's hair whenever he wasn't using it for something else. He wasn't sure if it was the withdrawal or just the fact that Belle's hair was incredibly pleasant to touch, but he found the action comforting.
The position was untenable for more than a couple of hours. Every so often Belle's head would slip from its resting place, and she'd jerk awake, jolting hard enough to make him worry for her neck. Rush looked from the console to Belle with a sigh. He'd lost so much time already, but if they couldn't make this work, neither of them would be good for anything. "Come on," he tapped her shoulder, "Time for bed."
Belle nodded sleepily, and he pulled her to her feet pretending that Eli simply wasn't present. She was lurching like a drunk, and he put his arm around her more to keep her vertical than for the sake of contact. As they walked, she seemed to wake up more, her blue eyes slowly clearing. "Oh, bugger."
"What?" Without thinking about it, he'd led them to his quarters, but that didn't seem to be what she was protesting.
"Eli!" she blurted, looking distressed, "He's going to think we're sleeping together."
Rush shrugged it off, already stripping off his clothes from the waist up. "We are."
A hand smacked his shoulder, and he pointed out dryly, "Unless the two of you have something going on that I'm not aware of, I don't see how it matters." His stomach twisted a little at the words. Belle and Eli? Surely not. He would have noticed. And even if he hadn't, there was no reason it should bother him.
"No, of course not," she denied at once, and the knot in his gut immediately loosened. "It doesn't bother you?"
"We know what we're doing and what we're not doing. Worrying about what other people think is a waste of time and energy." He turned the lights off, assuming she'd be able to find her way to the bed in the dark. "Now get your shirt off and come to bed."
He toed off his boots and crawled in himself, hearing the sound of Belle undressing as he did so. "You're such a romantic, Nick," she snorted. Despite her grousing, she joined him, although he realized that this time she'd left her bra on for modesty as he pulled her against him.
The press of bare skin against bare skin sent an instant jolt of euphoria coursing through him, and from Belle's gasp, she felt the same thing. Every place they were touching tingled in a good way, his body going loose and relaxed as a feeling of contentment bloomed within him. He hadn't felt this good in... Rush couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this good.
Belle moaned, and he realized he'd started running his hands over her back, feeling the urge to rub himself against her like a cat, wanting more of the glorious feeling. "Nick, what's happening?" she breathed, and he forced himself to think through the fog of pleasure.
"Side effect," was all he could come up with. "The carrot and the stick. We're punished for not touching, rewarded when we do."
She nuzzled into him, her own hands playing over his skin, and that didn't make thinking any easier. "But why? What's the point?"
An idea about that was forming, but sharing it with her would no doubt only upset her. "I'm sure they had their reasons."
"It's certainly better than last night," Belle observed, and he couldn't have agreed with her more.
Over the next week they experimented, and by the end of it, they had it down to a science. After an hour of being out of contact the itching would begin, but it would be no more than a mild irritation. If they caught it at that point, even a few seconds of contact was enough to reset the clock. If they didn't, the itching would gradually intensify over the next hours and it took longer periods of contact to undo it. Three hours and twenty-two minutes was as long as they could go without touching before the pain began.
Belle had wanted to get TJ's opinion, an idea that he shot down immediately. "I'm not interested in being studied like some kind of lab rat. It'll go away or it won't. We're dealing with it." He didn't have the time to waste on letting TJ run the battery of tests she'd no doubt want to subject them to. He was far enough behind as it was.
In truth he'd never felt healthier. He had no choice but to sleep more regularly, and rest came easily with Belle in his arms bringing peace and contentment with her. It didn't matter that it was as artificial a stimulant as caffeine or nicotine; it felt good, and he'd much rather be addicted to her than work. Rush wasn't entirely sure if that was him talking or their condition, but he rather thought it was him. He'd certainly been entertaining fantasies about his lab assistant for far longer than he'd been addicted to her touch.
Belle never offered any sign she wanted more from him than to be in contact with his skin, and so he didn't press. To do so now would be to take advantage of her. So they spent every night curled together like animals, and he was torn between hoping this addiction passed soon so he could find out if Belle could ever actually want him as opposed to needing him and hoping it never ended, ever, so he had an excuse to hold onto her for the rest of his life.
The mission should have taken less than half an hour. Apparently there was an interesting variation in the gate design on this planet, and Young wanted him to look at it, see if it was worthy of further study. If it was, he'd insist on having his assistant's assistance; if it wasn't, he'd head back to Destiny. Belle saw him off with a squeeze of his hand to reset the clock, and he promised he'd see her soon. It was the first time they'd been separated in six weeks.
Once on the planet, Rush quickly discovered that "interesting variation" meant "totally unreliable" when the fucking thing immediately went tits up and refused to function. They were cut off from Destiny, trapped on the planet until he fixed the damned thing, and all Rush could think of was Belle. He'd promised thirty minutes, and it had already been twice that amount of time.
They had two days before the next FTL jump, so although tensions were running high, no one was yet in crisis mode except for him. His skin was itching, and on the other side of a dead gate, so was hers. He needed to get to her.
After three hours, he hadn't made as much progress as he hoped, and he kept tensing up, bracing against the pain he knew was coming. When it did, it was almost a relief because he could stop dreading it. Not since the very first week had he felt this, and Belle had been right there to soothe it away. Now she was trapped a world away, and he couldn't get to her.
After four hours, the guilt was eating him alive as much as the pain. He should have brought her with him, and to hell with what anyone thought. He never should have allowed them to be separated. Belle was suffering and it was his fault. He caused this. The pain built with every breath, and he prayed to a god he didn't believe in that she wasn't feeling it like he was.
After five hours he was grunting with every breath, the searing agony making it all but impossible to keep himself together. Rush ground his teeth, sweat pouring off of him as he kept working. He had to fix this. He had to. Belle was on the other side of that gate, and she was hurting, and she needed him, and he had to get to her. He had to get to his Belle.
A hand touched his elbow, and he jerked away with a snarl. That wasn't the right touch. That wasn't the touch he needed, and his skin rebelled. "Get the fuck away from me."
"Rush, you look like shit," Young told him bluntly.
However bad he looked, he felt worse. "Have to fix this," he grunted.
"Look, we've got time. Why don't you take a break-" Young started, and Rush spared just enough time to shove him violently away.
"Have to fix this," he spat, turning his back on Young completely, ignoring anything the other man had to say. It wasn't important, wasn't relevant. It wouldn't help him get to Belle.
After six hours he could barely see, his vision wavering violently every time he blinked, so he tried not to. He couldn't feel his feet anymore which might have been a blessing because that was the one part of him that didn't feel like it had been flayed and then dipped in salt water.
He was shaking violently, barely able to control his hands, and people kept trying to talk to him. Eventually even profanity became too much effort, and he tuned everyone out. Nothing existed except for him and the gate.
After seven hours it finally opened, and he took off at stumbling lope, his body not cooperating with his attempt to sprint. Belle. He had to get to Belle. It seemed to take hours just to get to the gate, but he was finally through it, eyes desperately searching the room. She had to be here.
TJ was bent over a small figure huddled on the floor at the bottom of the ramp, and with a low cry, he flung himself at her, knocking her out of the way as he wrapped himself desperately around Belle, his hands tearing at his clothes and hers.
"Hurts, hurts, hurts, Nick, it hurts," she was whimpering, and he rubbed his cheek against hers frantically, needing the touch.
"Here, I'm here; I'm sorry," he panted, ripping his shirts off before he attacked hers, the material shredding in his hands.
All around them were voices but the only thing he could hear clearly was Belle's tortured breathing. He crushed her against him, and it wasn't enough, wasn't nearly enough. They'd been separated for too long, and this was barely taking the edge off the pain.
"More, more, more, it hurts," Belle begged, her splayed hands rubbing over his back, trying to feel as much of him as possible.
"Rush!" TJ all but bellowed in his ear, apparently having been trying to get his attention for awhile. "Belle's sick. She needs to be in the infirmary. She needs-"
"She needs me," he snarled, pawing at the fastening of her bra. Any barrier between them was too much. "Get out."
Rough hands grabbed his arms, dragging him away from Belle, and he struck out blindly as she wailed, "Nick, no! Please! I need him!" He slammed his head back into someone's face, and the grip faltered long enough for him to break away and catch Belle as she threw herself at him. She was tearing at his belt as he tried to toe his shoes off, and they wound up falling to the metal floor, completely wrapped around each other, and from a distance, he could hear someone- Eli?- demanding that they be left alone.
Rush didn't know if they still had an audience, but he couldn't be bothered to look around, too wrapped up in ripping the rest of Belle's clothes off of her as she shoved his jeans and boxers down with her feet. Impatiently he kicked them away and groaned in relief as her hands swept over him, the blinding pain easing enough that his vision finally cleared.
Her jeans and knickers followed in rapid succession, Belle squirming against him to help as he ruthlessly stripped her. He needed more of Belle's skin. He needed all of Belle's skin. Gone was the woman who'd been shy of letting him see her breasts, and in her place was a Belle who was as desperate for his touch as he was for hers.
"Nick," she moaned, wrapping her arms and legs around him to get closer, and he groaned as her lace-covered breasts pressed against his chest. That wasn't right. There should be nothing between them. With a grunt of effort, he finally got the horrible thing unfastened, all but prying Belle off of him so he could get it off. The second it was gone, he yanked her back into his arms, rolling her under him to blanket her with his body as her hands roamed him hungrily.
They were touching everywhere they could, but it still wasn't enough. "More," he begged, hoping she could think of a way to get them closer because his mental reserves were completely drained. "Belle, more."
He was rubbing his face against her neck, and her fingers slid into his hair, yanking him away as he whimpered and fought. He needed more touch, not less, and if she denied him, it would kill him. Instead of shoving him away, Belle dragged his mouth to hers, thrusting her tongue between his lips, and he stroked it with his, welcoming the chance to touch this new place.
Their tongues twined around each other, mating sensuously, and somehow the pain only made it more erotic as they clung desperately, their only relief found in each other. This was what they needed, what they should have tried from the start.
"Nick, please," Belle pleaded when he let her breathe, shifting beneath him so their bodies were aligned, her legs tight around his hips, and how long had he been hard? It didn't matter. Belle's fingers were wrapping around his cock, inviting him in, and he could deny her nothing.
With a guttural cry, he thrust deep, taking a moment to be relieved she was ready for him because he hadn't even thought to check. But she was ready, so hot and wet that the sheer joy of having her wrapped around him made the pain negligible. Pain was nothing if he could be inside his Belle.
She clutched him tighter as he ground against her, their hands everywhere, their lips meeting in a kind of frenzy. He could do nothing intensely enough. He couldn't thrust hard enough, couldn't kiss her hard enough, and the way Belle was pawing at him told him she felt the same way. He was ravenous, desperate, wanting all of her all at once.
Every harsh stroke made it a little better, the pain burning away in the face of the almost unbearable pleasure. Rush had been longing for this almost since the day he'd met her, and now she was his, and he was inside of her, and he was never going to let her go. He rubbed himself against her with every thrust, getting as much pleasure from the feel of her breasts against his chest as he did from the way her body clenched around his cock.
Belle clung to him, wrapping around him like she'd wanted this for as long as he had. The incomprehensible, broken words she was muttering against his lips were the most wonderful sound he'd ever heard, and he reached down to grab her thigh and push it higher, letting him thrust deeper until it felt like he was touching the very heart of her.
The pain was gone. Nothing existed but the sheer ecstasy of being inside Belle, claiming her for his own. They should have done this weeks ago, months ago, the day they met. They should do this always, and Rush didn't care who knew. He didn't care if they had an audience right now, because this was right. It was relief and comfort and joy, and he'd never be able to give this up.
"Nick!" Belle shouted his name, her body squeezing him so tightly that it hurt, a dull pain that thrilled more than anything. He'd satisfied his Belle, and she was screaming for him, her nails raking down his back, and he was right there with her, coming in a blinding torrent of garbled words and frenzied touches, still unable to get enough of her.
His climax drained all the strength from his body, every bit of tension and stress fading away as he hooked his chin over Belle's shoulder and pressed his overheated face to the cool metal floor.
Belle's hands stroked his back, and he moaned at the feel of her soft fingers fluttering over him, his cock twitching optimistically. "Are... are you okay?" she asked hesitantly.
"Never better," he rumbled, still not quite able to lift his head.
"Good." She sounded relieved. "This was kind of sudden."
"Not complaining. Wanted you since Icarus," he admitted, too tired to monitor his words.
"Really?" She stopped stroking his back for a moment, and he bit back a whimper, hoping he hadn't scared her off. "This wasn't... you know... just because of the aliens?"
If it hadn't been for the aliens he would have made an effort to make it a little nicer. Rush had plenty of fantasies about her, but having their first time involve rolling around on the floor of the gate room in the throes of agony with the rest of the crew knowing exactly what was going on hadn't been one of them. Even so... "Hell no."
"Good." Warm lips pressed against his temple. "Me neither."
He finally managed to roll off of her, bringing Belle with him to sprawl over his chest, the now-familiar feeling of contentment their contact brought making him want to purr. "It's still strange though," Belle continued, "Why would they do this to us? It doesn't make sense."
"Sure it does." His theory was unlikely to scare her off after what they'd just done. "They were curious about how humans work."
"And...?" she prompted.
Another nagging through crossed his mind as he continued, "They couldn't do much just with me, but with you there, they had a breeding pair."
"You think they wanted us to mate?" Belle asked in disbelief.
"Why else would they reward us for touching? It's a working theory." The aliens had wanted them to breed. Time would tell if they had.
"We didn't use anything," Belle said, her mind following the same path his was on.
Protection had been the furthest thing from his mind in Rush's desperation to be close to Belle. He cuddled her closer, hoping they wouldn't have to deal with any repercussions. Destiny was no place for a baby. Yet, he couldn't bring himself to get too worked up over the thought. The mental image of Belle swollen with his child was a very attractive picture. "Nothing we can do about it now," he said practically, nudging her temple with his chin to get her to look at him. "Would it really be so bad?"
"Depends." Her eyes were a little shadowed yet. "Is this... a permanent thing now? Us?"
Us. They were an us. Thank god they were an us. "You have to ask? If you think I'm letting you go, you're insane."
She laughed at that a little harder than he thought it justified, but her eyes were sparkling again. "Then, no. It wouldn't be bad at all."
Pleased, he hauled her up for another kiss. They'd be careful, no sense courting trouble, but someday, maybe, they'd do this. In the meantime they had a whole universe and each other to explore.