Title:: Tucked Away

Author:: Lokaia

Rating:: R for (possible) later chapters, but PG-13 for this one.

Summary:: Well... it's the product of a whim gone wrong. Like most things I've done lately. Bova/Harlan slash, Bova POV, somewhat angsty because I'm a big angsty whore ^_^!

Disclaimer:: They weren't mine yesterday, aren't mine today, won't be tomorrow. I'll let you know about next week. 'Tucked Away' belongs to the Goo Goo Dolls.


So here's the deal.

Harlan Band. And me. Doing stuff the Commander and Ms. Davenport won't admit, but everyone knows it's happening anyway. I.E. denial in the ranks.

He started it.

True, there's little to no choice on this ship, but I'm still pretty surprised he decided to go for me. I guess it's because he knows I'll never ask anything of him. Radu might. Or might just need him to do things. Suzee would demand him to be at her beck and call. Rosie...

Well, I mentioned Rosie to him once, and all he did was shudder. Whether it's toward the Mercurian herself, or the thought of getting his flesh scorched off, I'm not sure.

Well, he got me. He knows he can end it, and I'll go away. I keep waiting for him to say the word. It'll be fine, I'll be out of there. But for now...

For now it's a fairly decent distraction.

By "fairly decent" I mean "best experience of my life".

And, no, that's not optimism. That's simple fact. I happen to be a very factual person, not just pessimistic.

It's definitely weird. It's like he's trying to look after me sometimes. I mean, he did before, but that was when he was the "leader" of our group and was helping us to basically save his own ass. Now it's like...

He cares.


How it started is kind of confusing. I think there was alcohol. Or maybe drugs. Something. All I really remember is waking up, cramped and sore, crumpled in a heap in a storage closet with a very large Earther wrapped around me. I was surprised, yeah, but didn't freak. What surprised me more was that he didn't either.

Guess he's been drunk before.

After that he'd started leaving me hints which I blatantly ignored. Seemed to kind of piss him off and he started yelling at me for not "taking this seriously". Whatever "this" was, I still can't tell you, but I was apparently not being fair to it. Once he stopped babbling I asked if he'd ever considering just *asking* me straight out. I used a Thelma analogy in there somewhere--ask and you'll get a straight answer.

Guess he hadn't thought of that before.

Me? I thought it was painfully obvious. But maybe that's just because I'm on a close personal relationship with myself.

That Harlan apparently wanted in on.

That was fine. I could deal with that. It was something to do when we were bored, or needed to get away from homework or just the pressures of, "Oh yeah! We're stuck in the middle of nowhere!" Suzee thought it was hilarious, but honestly, I didn't get why it was any more funny than the thought of Harlan and Suzee. In any case, she started after Radu, who suddenly became very interested in heightening his psionic abilities.

Ooh. Shocker.

So fine. I can deal with whatever it is Harlan and I have. I can deal with the fact that if Cat ever gets back, he'll go to her, or once we get back to the Starcademy, he'll find someone else. All that I can deal with.

Know what I can't deal with?

I'm sweaty and gross and panting like my life depends on it, about a hundred and seventy pounds of sweaty, gross, panting Earther on top of me, and I'm drifting off to sleep. He's mumbling something into my ear, but you know what? It's been a long day and this is a pretty exhausting way to end it, so I don't really pay attention to what he's saying.

*Wait. Did he just...*

My neck twists painfully when I jerk my chin to stare at him. "Harlan!"

He doesn't move.

I shove him. "Harlan!"

No signs of life.

I'm prepared for this. The guy forgets how much bigger he is than me sometimes--I need something to keep me from getting crushed when he forgets I'm his bedmate, not his *pillow*, and squeezes a little harder than he should.

Ah yes. A feather.

Thelma gave it to me saying it'd be useful. Yeah, no kidding. This little thing has saved my ribs countless times.

I'm about to wake him up with it. But...

What if he wakes up and he didn't mean it?

Even worse...

What if he wakes up and he did?

"Love you."

The hell... how do you respond to that?