Thank you, once again, to my little troupe of betas, for demanding better (and listing smut pet peeves I'd inadvertently hit upon).

Song suggestion for the first part of this chapter: Kamikaze by PJ Harvey.

Part Four:

He had her up against the door as it soon as it was locked, lifting her off the ground with ease and stealing her breath with his lips. They were softer than they'd been in her dreams, and he tasted as good as he'd always smelled to her, salt and mint and musk. He was insistent without being rough, and she melted against him, trusting the hands gripping her thighs to keep her airborne.

It made sense in this position to wrap her legs around him and let him nestle between her hips, while he claimed her mouth with the precision he used in everything. One of her hands rested against his throat and she could feel the pulse there, racing away like her own, in complete contrast to how in control he seemed.

As the kiss progressed they shifted closer, until he was pressed where her pulse beat fiercest. She pulled away from his mouth with a gasp, and he spun away from the door, carrying her to his bed like she weighed nothing.

Only the stars glittering through the windows illuminated them as he laid her down, the light reflecting from his bare torso like polished marble. She reached out, resting her palm against his abdomen. The flex of his muscles beneath her touch and the warmth of his skin beneath hers reminded her that he was flesh and blood, just like she was.

He didn't cover her straight away, kneeling beside her while one hand went to her face, ghosting along her cheekbones before he tugged her hair loose of its ponytail. The ribbon drifted lazily to the carpet. Molly's hair spilt around her and he let his hands tangle in it, while she arched her neck at the feeling of his fingertips on her scalp. It sent a tingle down her jaw, a shiver that teased her entire body.

The shiver loosed something in him, in both of them. He made quick work of the scrubs, ripping them from her skin. She felt the sting as the cloth tore but was too busy stripping the rest of her clothes, tossing them away and reaching for his trousers. He was too fast, her hands finding naked skin even as his encircled her thighs, tugging her flat against the bed. Then he was above her, mouth on hers again, but only for a moment. He attacked her neck, a graze of teeth that was a promise of more to come, and began to kiss his way down her body.

He knew where to touch her, where to suck softly, where to apply the lightest pressure with his teeth, and not for the first time she wondered if he could read her mind. She carded her hands into his hair, messing up its perfection, while he explored the soft underside of her breast, the skin on the curve of her ribs and the sensitive arch of her hipbone.

Then he moved lower still, precisely pushing her thighs apart to cradle the breadth of his shoulders. He blew gently, a tease that made her squirm and grab for him, but he only twined her fingers with his and lowered his mouth to her.

Molly arched from the bed with a cry at the first swipe of his tongue, but he pushed her hips down with his free hand, circling her clit with his lips. It was the lightest pressure, but she felt it all the way up her spine.

"Oh god—more, please, more—"

She lifted her head from the pillow as she begged, meeting his eyes, and they were liquid silver in this light. His nostrils flared and his mouth curled in triumph, and then he set about tasting her with eagerness. It was greedy, the way his mouth worked against her, and she rocked her hips up to meet him. Then two fingers slid inside her, and she was quite sure she'd have broken the hand she was gripping if he weren't an augment. He was sure in his movement, pressing down inside her, thrusting and curling, thick enough that it felt like she was being fucked even while he sucked at her.

Her first orgasm was fierce, forcing wordless cries from her throat, but it was only when the second one left her spent against the sheets that he pulled away, wiping his mouth against her inner thigh and sliding closer. They were almost face to face with him resting on one elbow, and he watched her intently as he hooked an arm under her knee, opening her even further to him. He brushed against her, hot and hard where his fingers had opened her up, and paused, his attentive gaze focused on her. She nodded breathlessly.

If she'd thought his fingers had prepared her, she was entirely wrong. He stretched her to just the right side of pain and pleasure, and he gave no quarter, his rhythm punishing from the beginning. She fisted one hand into the sheets and desperately sought purchase on his back with the other, bringing his chest down to meet hers. She should have been claustrophobic, surrounded by him as she was, but all she wanted was more. His scent was thickened by sweat and she lapped at his neck, savouring the taste of him.

"Can you take more?"

Molly felt his voice as much as she heard it, it had dropped to such a low rumble. "Please," she replied, more sigh than anything else.

The arm behind her knee shifted, pushing it higher, and his thrusts became brutal. He buried his face in the crook of her neck, the only sound in the room the slap of skin on skin and their mingled grunts. She'd be sore tomorrow, but it'd be worth it. Her orgasm was out of reach like this, the angle all wrong, but it felt greedy to demand more right now and she didn't want him to move anyway, not when every nerve ending in her body felt alive.

His teeth grazed at her collarbone and she hummed, arching her neck to give him better access, cradling his head with her fingers. He'd said she'd want this, hadn't he? Her breasts ached at the thought of his teeth, eager for attention. His tongue slid over her pulse and he nipped hard enough to bruise, until all Molly could hear was the sound of her own frantic heartbeat.

"An alpha and omega pairing bond through the sharing of bodily fluids." The words rang through her delirium, an echo of Khan's voice in her skull. If he bit her—

She stiffened as he teased her skin again, curling her fingers into his hair and pulling his head away from her throat. He gave a growl of disapproval, his teeth bared as he pressed his forehead to hers, eyes narrow as he pounded into her, but she shook her head, resolute. No biting.

He grunted his disapproval but obeyed her wishes, gritting his teeth together as he came moments later.

She took his weight as he relaxed above her, panting together while the adrenaline ebbed and her heartbeat slowed. She kept her eyes closed so she wouldn't have to meet his gaze, hoping it read as fucked to the point of exhaustion and not the remorse that was creeping up on her. When he rolled to the side his hands didn't leave her, stroking across her belly and down her arms. She stretched her legs while he chuckled with a masculine note of pride. God, she really would feel it in the morning. Khan rolled further away, tugging the sheets over both of them, though he left an arm draped possessively over her waist. Molly let the noise in her head quieten and rest come.

She didn't doze for long, and when she blinked the sleep away he was still at her side, dead to the world. It gave her the chance to gather the remnants of her clothes and bolt down the corridor.

After she'd shut the door to her quarters and engaged the locking mechanism, she rested her forehead against it, only barely resisting the urge to smack her head against it like she wanted to. What a mess she'd made of everything.

Yes, she'd agreed to sleep with him, but somewhere along the way she'd forgotten that sex wasn't just sex. If he'd bitten her he'd have altered her, bound them together in a way she wasn't prepared for. The thought of it sent shockwaves of white terror through her; if she couldn't allow it then she needed to walk away from any liaison with him at all.

Because despite his attempt at a courtship, despite the apparent respect he had for her, he was still a man who'd done terrible, cruel things. The way he'd vanquished the Klingons had undoubtedly saved her life, but it was also a stark reminder of how easily killing came to him. Wasn't binding herself to him giving her silent approval of his past actions, and anything he may do in the future? If it was, then she could never allow it to happen.

Maybe now she'd scratched that itch, she'd stop craving him and could put him behind her. And yet a quiet part of her mind mocked the notion.You're a fool about many things, Molly Hooper, and this is one of them. You fear how he makes you feel, but it won't stop you wanting him.

She didn't just lock the door behind her, but shoved a chair in front of it too, as if it would keep him out if he was determined to force his way inside. Though she was exhausted, she couldn't sleep until she'd stood under the hot jets from the shower for half an hour, sloughing away the dirt of the day, the remnants of sweat and sex and his every touch.

Halfway through towelling her hair, there was a commotion in the corridor outside: shouts and thuds, Khan's outrage manifesting in a brawl. Molly shrank back against the wall as a fist-sized dent appeared in the door, and frantically scanned the room for a weapon. Not that he would hurt her, but if he got in she would be cornered, and she wasn't going to allow that. He'd heal, whatever she threw at him.

A hushed voice joined the din, soothing cadences that Molly recognised as Alana. She flushed as she realised this meant the entire ship probably knew what had happened. Whatever Alana was saying worked: the yelling stopped, and then footsteps signalled everyone walking away. The area lapsed into silence.

Molly managed a fitful sleep, followed by a long, hot bath. She'd tossed and turned and was coated in so much sweat it felt like she'd never showered at all, and now she was really feeling the aches from the day before. The water soothed her muscles, though nothing really soothed her troubled thoughts. She didn't want to get dressed and face the crew, and she really didn't want to face Khan. It was cowardly, but she didn't exactly have much choice. Any other occasion of buyer's remorse, she could have walked away and never seen him again, but she was trapped on the ship with Khan with nowhere to hide from him. He'd made his intentions abundantly clear—he would not view last night as a casual thing—and so at this point her quarters were her only refuge.

She'd just dressed, head still full of gnarled thoughts, when a knock at the door drew her out of them. She froze.

"It's Alana."

She relaxed, but didn't move to open the door. "I'd like some privacy right now."

"You nearly died yesterday. I need to make sure you really are healed. Don't worry, he's on the bridge making Bellamy miserable."

Still half-expecting a trick, but knowing she wouldn't be left alone until she relented, Molly shifted the chair and opened the door. Alana was alone on the other side, holding a small kit from the medical bay.

Molly found herself unable to make eye contact, or think of a single thing to say, as Alana prodded at her thigh and checked her vitals.

"You know I can do these things myself."

"I know. I also know Khan will only accept my testimony or his own that you really are okay. He's worried he injured you and you're too stubborn to say anything."

Molly drew away, fidgeting with the hem of her dress. "I'm fine."

Alana sighed, heavy with frustration. "Yes, I know what happened, even without the dramatics. I can smell him on you."

"But I—"

"Showered? Doesn't matter. It'll take a while for it to fade."

"Then I'm definitely not leaving these rooms."

"I'm not going to force you to, but you can't avoid him forever and I don't suggest you try. The longer you leave it, the worse it's going to be. His pride is hurt, but this is far worse than a wounded ego. He's an alpha rejected by his omega—bond or not, he's already chosen you."

"I just need space, Alana. A few days to clear my head and then I'll speak to him. I promise." Molly had no idea what she was going to say, but she'd be sick of the sight of these walls by then.

"Fine. I'll have your meals sent through the replicator. If you excuse me, I have to go deal with the father of all bad moods."

Unfortunately, the next few days brought a new itch, and it wasn't one Molly could scratch; like a jangling of nerves that showering or sleep couldn't fix, a prickling of every cell in her body. It was probably just Khan's blood working its way out of her system. No one had explained the side effects of using it for healing, if they even knew what they were. It was almost enough to drive her from seclusion in the direction of the lab, but to study his blood she would need to take a fresh sample, so that wasn't happening anytime soon.

A welcome distraction came in the form of an early wake-up call from Alana. "We need you in the medical bay immediately. Bellamy's missing a lung." That had Molly dressed and running for the bay in under a minute.

The sight that greeted her nearly had her heaving. She'd seen worse: though autopsies were mostly done by machinery nowadays, she'd still had to perform a few manual ones as part of her training, and the professors liked to use the most grotesque corpses they could find to test their students' resolve. But those had always been dead people. Not Bellamy—a man she didn't much like, but a person nonetheless—lying on the bed with half his rib cage splayed out like it had exploded, his chest cavity a mess of torn flesh.

Molly steadied herself against the wall. "What happened?" He needed surgery, probably beyond her ability, and a new lung, which definitely was. Evans had already got an IV going, and a discarded syringe showed Bellamy was sedated, though the shock and pain would have made him black out anyway.

"He challenged Khan," Alana replied. "Told him he wasn't fit to rule us if he'd chosen an omega who'd rejected him. Bellamy lost the challenge."

The thought of Khan causing this damage made Molly sway, a flush creeping her neck and face. "I don't think I can save him."

"Don't you dare apportion yourself any blame for this," Alana snapped. "He was a fool to think he stood a chance against Khan. It's something he's wanted to do for years and he's learnt the hard way how wrong he was. He'll live, though. Khan has given us his blood to heal him."

"He has? Why?" It seemed so pointless, as good as killing a man and then saving his life.

"To show he can have mercy, though Bellamy will wish he had died by the time he's healed. He'll be a pariah among the crew. This is a lesson to them all."

"Then all we can do here is sterilise his wounds and patch him up." She crossed to the wall of supplies and began taking out the equipment she needed, talking Alana and Evans through what they'd be doing, all the while aware of how hot she was. The flush hadn't abated but blossomed into something worse, the infernal prickling overwhelming even her intense concentration. She wiped sweat from her forehead with a shaky hand and tugged at the scrub jacket she'd thrown on to protect her uniform.

"Molly…" Alana murmured, while they watched Evans administer antivirals. "You don't look great."

"I don't fee—ugh." She was forced to her knees by a wave of cramps, her abdomen feeling like it was trying to tie itself in knots. When they passed, she raised her head to find both Alana and Evans staring at her. Alana's nostrils flared, and Evans had abandoned what he'd been doing to round the table towards Molly, a dazed look on his face.

"Evans, go fetch Khan," Alana ordered. He barely glanced at her. "Now."

Yes. Khan. Actually, no not Khan, I can't see him… As Evans' footsteps echoed away, Alana dropped to her knees beside Molly. "Why didn't you tell me you'd bonded—why didn't he?"

"We didn't," Molly protested. "No biting. I wouldn't let him." She shifted to stand, but Alana's hand on her shoulder stilled her. God, Alana smelled good. Spicy and rich, thick enough to taste this close, which was a good thing because Bellamy's scent had grown stronger too, and right now it was all blood and salt and meat.

"You did. Otherwise you wouldn't be in heat."

"What?" The word came out as a shriek that made Molly wince.

"The pheromones are pouring off you. Your temperature is way up, you're cramping, and right now you're wondering what it'd be like if I pinned you to the floor."

Alana's words snapped Molly out of her daydream about that exact thing. "I'm ill," she protested. "Must be a bug or something. Just give me fluids."

"Fluids won't make a difference. You're in heat—you want an alpha, or you'll be in for days of fever and cramps. Yes, those cramps", she finished as Molly writhed on the floor again. "He might not have bitten you, but his blood was in you when he took you to bed. All you needed was to exchange saliva and it's as good as him biting you. You're bonded and the only thing that's going to make you feel better is him."

Molly pressed her forehead against the blessedly cold floor tile and tried to ignore Alana's words, but she ached everywhere. The space between cramps had given way to a throbbing between her legs. "Can't you give me something? Sedate me or—"

"Stop fighting it, Molly. He'll be here soon enough. Whether it's this heat or the next, you'll only make yourself miserable, and he's been miserable enough for the both of you."

"But I can't." The words started as a whine and ended in a sob. "How can I be with the man who did that to Bellamy?"

Alana moved to block Bellamy from view. "If Khan had lost the challenge, Bellamy would have done worse to him, and to you. Khan did what he had to. He might not be a good man, not the way you want him to be, but there's not a single person in this universe who will have more influence over him than you do. You can shy away from what you feel for him if you must. It won't change that you do feel for him. I know you're not a coward, so you may as well face your bond now."

Molly was only half-listening, because she could smell the storm coming: lavender and rain-drenched fields, ozone and amber, the ache growing fiercer with every foot of space closed between them.

"I want to," Molly whispered. "But he terrifies me."

"That's who he is. Domineering and powerful and ruthless—and you're a liar if you say you don't crave it."

Then he was in the doorway, gripping the frame in his hands so hard it cracked. Molly arched off the floor, making a sound she'd be embarrassed about when she remembered it, and Alana backed away.

"Molly," Khan said, the syllables a rasp that she felt down to her toes. "Alana can sedate you. I'll take the jumpship and leave until you are recovered. If that is what you want—"

He left the offer dangling, and the waves of scent pouring off him had eased her discomfort enough to give her a little more clarity of thought. She could sleep through this, despite whatever Alana said, though this was only the first in a regular cycle. Or she could go to bed with him again, let him ease the ache. It didn't mean she was approving of every little thing he'd ever done. And right now, when he could let her hormones overrule her, let her wake to more regret when this broke, he was giving her the choice instead.

She licked her parched lips. "No. I want you."

He took a step forward and stopped, the door frame crumbling under his fist. "Alana, make sure Bellamy survives. You must take my place until…until—"

Alana straightened and stepped even further away from Molly. "Sir," she said, acknowledging the order.

Khan released the door frame, crossing the room in a few strides, and Molly rose to her knees, arms reaching for him. He bent, but only to lift her, hooking one arm around her back and the other under her legs, cradling her close to his chest. She pressed herself closer, gulping down breaths of the scent now clouding around her, rubbing her cheek against his shoulder. Already this was so much better, but she wanted skin and the heat of flesh, not the layers of cloth between them.

His long legs made quick work of the distance between the medical bay and his quarters, and this time he took her straight to the bed, kicking the door shut behind them.

She whimpered when he broke away from her, a wave of cramps washing over her. "Please." He was only stripping himself naked, but she was so far gone even that was too far away from her. She needed him over her, crushing her to the bed, filling her and fucking the ache out of her.

He sensed what she was begging for, crawling over her when he was gloriously nude. She spread her legs, but there was still material between them, fabric he tore away from her with a snarl. With that gone, her scent was stronger than Khan's, her thighs slick with her own want. She reared up and brushed her nose along the pulse in his throat, wanting to get drunk on everything he was. He trailed fingers through her heat, teasing and testing but not enough.

"Please," she repeated. "Holding back…it hurts—"

"I know." His voice was more growl than anything human. "It's been like for me since the day we met."

One hand curled around her hip, fingers reaching to the curve of her backside. Khan lifted her and flipped her over to her knees, her chest hitting the mattress, and Molly scrambled to push to her elbows while he lined his hips up with hers.

The first thrust knocked the breath out of her, but by the time he'd found his rhythm she'd regained it, enough to sob out her relief. She clutched at the sheets, distantly aware that she begging for more, harder, please Khan. He did his best to oblige, his chest crushed against her back, one arm wrapping around her waist to hold her tighter. She could feel the sheen of sweat growing between them as their skin slid together, and Khan's scent had sharpened with the exertion.

Molly had never come from penetration alone, but at this angle there was so much more of him, and she was so sensitive, that it took nothing at all. Yet even that didn't abate the persistent ache for long.

"Khan, I need, I need—"

"What do you need?"

More. She wanted more, but she couldn't explain the emptiness, even with him buried so deep. "I don't know!" she moaned in frustration.

He brushed her hair away from her neck, tipping her chin to expose her throat to him. "Perhaps this?" He bit down gently at her pulse, a mere catch of his teeth, and she writhed beneath him. Somewhere in the sounds he was forcing from her, she made it clear she wanted more and he took the offer willingly, clamping his teeth down harder, just this side of breaking the skin.

It was good—he'd been so, so right when he said she'd want this, because she was begging him to mark her, to bite deep enough to spill her blood—but it still wasn't enough, even as her orgasm spilt outwards. Yet it changed something in Khan. His thrusts became shorter, as if he was fighting to stay in her body, and then she felt him growing, swelling inside her. The knot he'd promised, the knot she'd barely given a second thought to, pushed its way inside as Khan kept thrusting, tight little movements that rocked against the most sensitive spot inside her. She was sofull and it was everything she'd been begging for.

She dropped her face to the pillow, silently rocking through the pleasure, her voice stolen with her rationality. Khan, too, collapsed, trapping her to the bed with the weight of his body, giving her just enough space to breathe. He jerked against her, guttural sounds voiced against her neck as she felt him empty into her. When she thought he was finished, she shifted, and the knot moved within her, sparking aftershocks that rippled into Khan. It went on for minutes, every tiny movement of their hips resulting in friction and fireworks, until Khan had no more to give.

They lay sprawled, breathing slowing to a shared rhythm, until the knot subsided and Khan could slip away from her. He didn't move far, spooning against her prone form while she tried to remember how her muscles worked.

"This will not last long," he told her, kissing a path down her back. "The heat will rise again soon. You need to drink so you don't become dehydrated."

Molly had little interest in moving, but she felt his weight leave the bed, then heard the electronic hum of the replicator. When she showed no urge to take the water, he lifted her head and pressed the cup to her lips, and she downed it greedily. He was right, she was thirsty. She took another cup gratefully, mindful of how much she'd sweated during the worst of the heat.

He ran a finger across her throat, where his teeth had been before, and her pulse picked up in anticipation.

"Though we have already bonded, the urge for me to mark you will be strong, and you will have little inclination to resist it. Are you happy for me to mark you here, where everyone may see?"

She paused, thinking on the crew's reaction. After today, they would all know she was bonded to Khan, but to walk around the ship with evidence they'd done something so kinky…Molly didn't think she could look any of them in the eye, not even Alana. Yet he was right, in the heat of the moment there wasn't a thing she'd do to stop him biting her.

"There are other places. More intimate places." His fingers moved from her throat to cup her breast, then further down to stroke the pulse in her thigh.

"Yes, there," she agreed, rolling fully onto her back and opening her legs to him. His grip tightened on her thigh, and already she was aware of the prickle in her skin, the warning bells sounding. So little time had passed, but her temperature was spiking again.

Khan rolled between her hips, pressing a kiss to her belly, sliding further down. "As you wish."

They had enough awareness the second time around to learn about each other, to taste and feel, though Molly's exploration of Khan with her mouth was cut short when he yanked her head away. "In this state, I will knot your throat, and neither of us want that." But when he covered her and thrust inside, it was as rough and frantic as it had been before.

Three days passed, a cycle of fevered knotting, deep sleep and only the occasional thought to food. The heat ebbed like a retreating tide, washing away slowly enough that the last time they joined was a gentler experience, fuelled less by the insistence of hormones and more by their combined greed for skin and touch. Molly rode Khan at an unhurried pace, the first time she'd been above him, and the first time in her life she felt no fear in baring herself this way.

As her pulse quietened from her final orgasm, tucked into Khan's side, she knew the heat had finally broken. Aches she hadn't been aware of fought their way to the surface, especially where Khan's teeth had marked her skin. She had full control of her capabilities again, and yet the urge to run away didn't rise within her. She was content here. Happy, even, no matter how illusory that might prove in the long run. She wasn't ready to start throwing around the L-word, but if this was her future…well, not too long ago she'd been contemplating solitude and spinsterhood. This was not what she'd imagined for herself, but for the first time since she'd lost her parents, she was wanted. It wasn't something to be undervalued.

Able to properly assess her surroundings for the first time, she was struck by how empty Khan's quarters were. There'd been no personalisation, not like the chaos of colour she'd created in hers. The bed sheets were nice enough, and no doubt they were better quality than the rest of the crew had, but the walls were utterly empty, and whatever personal belongings he had were neatly stashed away out of sight. All except a yellow ribbon on the top of a cabinet, very carefully arranged in a spiral. Molly realised she'd been wearing the ribbon in her hair the day they went to Hafnar 9, and had left it behind on Khan's floor in her hurry to flee his chambers the first night they'd spent together.

"Marcus stripped the ship of everything it held," Khan murmured, his breath on her cheek. He'd been watching her and guessed her thoughts, as usual. "My rooms once held untold wealth and now it is all gone."

"There are more important things," she replied. "You have your crew. Everything else can be replaced—though I rather hope you don't intend to return to Earth and take it back by force."

"I have no interest in war with Earth or Starfleet, not when I have risked so much to ensure my crew's survival. Our enemies won't realise we're gone for years, decades if we're lucky, and when they do we'll be far beyond their reach."

"Then where are we going?"

"To seek out new life and new worlds; isn't that the directive? There are thousands, if not millions, of worlds out there that are ours for the taking. Places we can create a new Earth, populated with our superior genetic code and without the taint humanity has left on the worlds it has already touched."

Leaving Molly alone with the augments, practically a different species despite her bond with Khan. It also left Earth at the mercy of its enemies. Their closeness loosened her tongue.

"But the Klingons are going to war with the federation, and you had a hand in that! How can you run away now?"

"Starfleet would as soon make war on us as they would on the Klingon empire. I had no quarrel with the Klingons—this is the admiral's doing. I have not come this far to save my crew, only to throw their lives away."

"I'm not asking you to—but you're Earth's best hope. The Klingons aren't expecting you to be in this fight. You once told me you took out a squadron of them nearly single-handedly. With the crew's combined strength and skills, think of the weapons you could build—you could end this war alone. Starfleet would have to pardon you all, especially since they know you only did what you did because Marcus forced you to. You could stop running from them and choose where you settle. I could go home."

He drew in a sharp breath at the last, his brow furrowing as he seemed to war between closing up or letting the pain her words had caused him show. "You would so easily run from me, after everything. My blood is in you, as you are in me, and yet you would turn your back."

"That's not what I meant." Though despite everything, there probably would be times she would want to run from him. Molly would always carry the knowledge of what he'd done and what he was capable of, and the day that rested easy with her was the day she lost sight of her own humanity. But she couldn't deny the way he'd found his way under her skin and even if she ran to the edge of the universe, not only would he chase her, she'd regret running before he ever found her. She laid her hand over his. "But I would like the chance to visit."

He studied her for a long moment, the faint light from the stars beyond creating a soft halo around his head, his eyes cerulean bright against the dark. "Very well. If it will make you happy, to war we shall go. If the crew do not object."

"They've been asleep for three centuries. I think most of them are spoiling for a fight…and longing for home too."

He brushed her hair from her face and bent to ghost a kiss upon her forehead. "I warn you now, I will not allow even death to separate you from me. You will survive this war, or I will rip apart the very fabric of space and time to bring you back."

"Always so dramatic." She rolled her eyes and shifted, every muscle protesting at the movement. "I'll do my very best not to die."

"Excellent. I will call a meeting with Alana, we have much to prepare." He peeled the sheet away from their sweat-soaked bodies, and Molly admired the view as he crossed to the bathroom. When he reached the threshold he paused and turned back to her, every inch of him a pale streak of starlight against the gloom. He reached out a hand to her. "Shall we begin?"

A/N: Nearly 20,000 words later, my 'one shot' is over. Except I absolutely have a sequel mapped out *angry glare at muse*.