Brought Back

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the book series or television series Dune and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Duncan chooses to try and bring Alia back to him instead of leaving her mind open to the Baron's control. Written for the lust square in the Advent Bingo challenge

Warning(s): Semi-consensual spanking; references to violence and hints into a sick, depraved mind; bondage; spoilers up to and including Children and Dune, both books and mini-series

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The anguish Duncan felt as he looked at the sleeping form of his wife was intense. Up until this point, he would have said losing Paul Atreides was the worst pain he'd ever gone through.

Knowing his wife was a stranger was almost as bad.

It was easier than Duncan thought it should have been to move Alia's body, carefully but securely tying her limbs to each of the bedposts. His training meant he could move as soundlessly as the cats they'd had back on their home planet, but even so, a Bene Gesserit should have woken up at those touches. Unless she'd been drugged.

Or was so tired to the point of sheer exhaustion.

Duncan sat on the edge of the bed and waited, still and quiet, almost dropping into a meditative state.

He wasn't sure how much time had passed before Alia stirred. Her eyes opened and when they landed on him, her lips curved into a seductive smile. "Are you coming to bed?"

If he closed his eyes, Duncan could almost picture his wife instead of the stranger who had taken up residence inside her. He forced himself not to cry. Tears were a waste of the body's water and even though he wasn't born here on Arrakis, he'd absorbed their ways. "I love you, Alia."

Something moved in her eyes. A hint of darkness; maybe a tiny bit of regret. She shifted her weight towards him and then her eyes went much darker and she hissed. "Set me loose."

"The Voice won't work on me." Duncan stretched his hand out and squeezed one of her thighs.

Alia stopped struggling and eyed him with a certain clinical detachment. "I didn't expect you to want to take me like this..."

"I don't."

Alia lowered her eyelashes and gently bit her bottom lip. Her voice dropped even lower as she said, "You can't lie to a Bene Gesserit."

"Maybe not." Duncan forced himself to make eye contact with the monster inhabiting the body of his beloved as he said, "But I'm not speaking with a Bene Gesserit, am I, Baron?"

If she'd held up the facade, he would have left. Because it could mean he was wrong...and he couldn't stand the possibility he'd lost her due to the path she'd chosen to take.

But the lowered gaze became a heavy-lidded, outright sultry look. Alia arched her back and parted her lips in a cruel, jagged smile. "You're much smarter than I gave you credit for since you're not even a real. Just a bundle of memories."

"I'm real enough." Duncan refused to rise to the bait.

"What are you going to do, boy?" the Baron's ghost asked. "You can't keep her tied up here for the rest of her life." He drew a sharp breath in through his teeth. "What will the people say?"

"I expect they'd be relieved." Duncan sidled a bit closer, his hand sliding up Alia's leg, looking into her eyes...seeking out the woman he loved. "Come back to me, Alia," he whispered.

"She can't hear you." The Baron began to giggle; the wild laughter of a madman. "I've pushed her so far down, she can't hear anything."

Or she just didn't want to.

Duncan edged that bit nearer, his hand stroking up over her legs and to her stomach. He ignored the sly look that twisted her face and caused her to arch into his touch. She was wearing Fremen trousers and he slipped his fingers into the waistband, pulling them down over her hips and legs and then loosening first one foot and then the other to remove the clothing entirely.

"What do you want, Duncan?" The Baron licked his lips. "I can be anything you desire," he crooned.

"You can't give me what I want, Baron." Duncan kept his eyes fixed on the face of his enemy, even as he began to caress the legs that were now bared. Stroking and rubbing. "Come back to me," he repeated.

"You're wasting your breath."

Duncan ignored the caustic response and reached up to undo the ties around Alia's wrist. He was expecting the hand curled into a claw that darted towards his face and ducked back before he began to reposition and fasten the bonds once more.

By the time Duncan had finished, Alia was positioned on her stomach, the entire lower half of her body bare. He pushed her tunic up, baring even more of her body, and ran his hand down her spine.

Her skin was soft and smooth as silk, though it had been a long time since he'd encountered the material. He continued to gently stroke and caress down her back and when he reached her bottom, he delivered two sharp smacks, in quick succession, and then gently rubbed before delivering two more.

"Is this supposed to be a punishment? Because it's turning me on."

Duncan cringed. The purr in the voice was Alia's; the words were entirely the Baron's. He stopped rubbing and began smacking, letting his hand bounce off her soft cheeks. After a short time of that, he paused and very gently traced the marks left by his palm and fingers.

She wriggled and then cast a heady glance over her shoulder at him. "Even if I could feel that, it wouldn't hurt me. I had much worse things done to me." The sick, twisted smile that spread across her face had nothing to do with Alia.

"It's not you I'm trying to get through to." Forcing himself to look past the unnatural gleam in her eyes, Duncan opened his senses...trying to reach his wife. "Alia." His voice was low. Intense. "I know you're in there. I know you can hear me. You're stronger than he is. Fight back."

"She can't hear you, ghola."

Ignoring the response, Duncan smacked harder and then squeezed her right cheek. "Do you feel that? Your husband's touch? I know you can hear me. I know you can feel me. No matter what it takes..."

"Duncan."

The sheer terror in her voice was nearly his undoing. Her eyes were wide with horror, her lips parted as if she was about to scream. And then her body began to shake. Tears filled her eyes. Trickled down her cheeks. A sob caught in her throat. "What have I done?"

He couldn't see the hints of the Baron. There was only Alia left. He reached out and stroked her cheek and she turned her head to nuzzle into his hand. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

"Is he still a danger?"

Alia closed her eyes. "His memories are still in my mind. They all are. I can't...I can't keep fighting them back. He told me he'd keep on protecting me against the others who wanted to use me." She sagged limply. "I was wrong...so wrong. And now I can hear them all and they won't leave me in peace." Her face twisted and she bucked in her bonds.

Duncan's hand stroked the side of her head and she slanted towards his touch. "But you hold them at bay," she murmured. "When you touch me...when you claim me...they can't tolerate it."

"I love you." Duncan didn't know if he could be her anchor; if he could drive and keep away her demons. But he loved her enough to try.

Alia's face crumpled and she slumped against Duncan, as close as the bonds would allow her to. "I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry I hurt...betrayed you. I never wanted it."

"I know." Duncan pressed his lips to her forehead as she shuddered. "I know," he whispered. He didn't know if he could forgive her...not yet, at least. But he could love her; and perhaps that would be enough.

The End