Title: Those Most Dear
Author: With My Radio
Movie: Star Trek Into Darkness
Spoilers: Deviates from the movie after its first half hour, but will definitely spoil the movie's premise if you keep reading.
Pairing: John Harrison (Khan)/OFC
Categories: Romance, Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Rating: The highest you've got. This story is not for children, and will probably include elements of noncon/dubcon. I'll give specific warnings prior to those chapters.
Extended Summary: After surviving the terrorist attack that destroyed the "Kelvin Memorial Archive" (actually a secret research compound) in London, Alia finds herself captive of the criminal responsible. He saved her life... And now controls it. Whatever else he's plotting, he needs information only Alia possesses to carry out his plans, information she doesn't remember and would never willingly divulge if she did. Her only hope to save herself, her loved ones and the countless strangers he seems hell-bent on murdering is to find the man inside the monster. But can she find him without losing herself?
The first thing she knew in the darkness was the sound. It crashed over Alia like a tidal wave, the roar of an entire edifice crumbling, collapsing from its foundation, the noise so all-encompassing that her mind couldn't begin to comprehend it. Its loudness was so far beyond her ability to process it that it was almost silence, almost deafening. Next was the screaming. The steel supports of the Kelvin Memorial Archive cried out in agony as they were bent and twisted, and the people around her cried out in agony for the same reason. She was screaming, she knew she was screaming, but she could not hear herself. She could not imagine that anyone could hear her.
When the noise receded there was nothing except the pain. In every synapse, in every nerve, in every cell, it sparked and spread. It burned through her, seared her from the inside out, so bright it nearly illuminated the blackness inside her mind, or perhaps her mind was incandescent with the sensation. She glowed with it. She wanted to writhe in anguish but her body was no longer under her control; it was beholden to the pain, and nothing else was real. Alia was pain. She existed only to feel it.
If she existed at all.
Suddenly, she was gasping. Her lungs ached as though she hadn't breathed in days and only just remembered it was something she ought to do. At the same time her vision cut in. It replaced the darkness with light and colors so vivid her eyes stung and teared with the effort of seeing them. She was screaming still, or again, but once more there was no sound. Just the feeling of her throat, raw and aching, spasming over and over as she willed her lips to move.
"I wouldn't attempt it," a voice said. Deep, cold, emotionless, it sent a tremor of terror through her. There was something about it that reminded her of that first tidal wave of sound, of the world collapsing in on itself.
With great effort, Alia turned her head in search of the speaker. At first she could see only an indistinct shadow at the edge of a pool of blinding light, but as her eyes adjusted he came into sharper focus, standing tall and motionless at the foot of the hospital bed she was lying on. Her first thought was that he looked exactly the way his voice sounded. Arrogant, remote, menacing. And like his voice, the sight of him before her filled her with a mindless fear she could not name.
"I wouldn't attempt to speak," he clarified. "You will only hurt yourself." There was a sneer in his words, as though he disdained such weakness.
Well. She wasn't exactly overjoyed about it either. What he said was true, and in all honesty she hurt enough already. She nodded weakly. He rewarded her with what she supposed must pass for a smile, slicing across his face like a blade, sharp and dangerous.
It suited him.
He approached her, his bearing military, a tube of dark red liquid in his hand. Alia watched as he inserted it into the I.V., watched as it slowly turned the clear fluid… Not pink. Whatever the liquid was it did not seem to dilute or weaken as it mixed with the saline. Rather, it overwhelmed it until the entire infuser was filled with something that looked remarkably like blood.
It frightened her but seemed to satisfy him. He nodded once before looking down at her, mouth set, oddly pale eyes hard.
"This will be painful," he told her flatly, and not as though he was sorry about it. "Do try not to scream, if you can help it."
She couldn't, but then again, no one could hear her anyway.
Time passed; she wasn't sure how much. She fell in and out of consciousness, either dreaming of suffering or living it. Alia had no medical training, and no idea of what he'd put in her I.V., but she imagined the liquid was caustic, cauterizing her veins, because that was the only explanation she could think of for the sensations she felt. It was like being cremated alive. A few times, she wondered if the pain might kill her. Other times, she hoped.
It didn't. At some point, she awoke to the feeling of a cold hand touching her cheek, her forehead. There was no gentleness in the contact. It had the carelessness of the way a person might touch something, not someone, and it made her shiver. Her eyes snapped open.
"Good, you're awake."
"Oh," she said, her voice nothing more than a harsh whisper. It hurt, but that was a given at this point. Everything hurt. "Am I?"
Again, that sharp and slicing smile. "For now."
And again, the terror. She struggled against it, refused to allow it to overwhelm her. "Where am I? Who are you?"
He didn't answer. Instead, he pressed a button on the side of her bed and the head rose, forcing Alia into a sitting position. Her body cried out in protest but she clamped her lips together firmly. Now that she had some semblance of a voice, she would be damned if she'd allow him the satisfaction of hearing her sob the way she wanted to. Despite the fact that he was apparently helping her, she knew instinctively that he was not her friend.
"Drink this," he ordered, holding a cup to her mouth. She followed his instructions, gulping desperately and reveling in the feel of the cold water soothing her desiccated throat. She drank and drank and drank and felt she could never ever satisfy her thirst.
"Slowly," he admonished, "Slowly, or you'll make yourself sick. Enough now. Enough."
He pulled the cup away, pausing only to swipe his finger across her lower lip, wiping away a few droplets that had spilled. The taste left behind was faintly bitter.
"Who are you?" She repeated her previous question, desperately trying to remember what had happened before that sound, that awful sound that still echoed in her mind. There was something familiar about him, but beyond that, there was nothing.
As before, he did not respond. Instead, he asked "Do you remember?"
"Remember what?" she retorted, buying herself time to organize her thoughts.
"No. Yes. I remember…" Roaring. Screaming. Burning. "A collapse? No… An explosion, something… A building, collapsing into the ground."
He nodded, face expressionless. "Yes. The Kelvin Memorial Archive has been destroyed."
"Yes. Oh god." A sudden realization struck her. "I was… I was late, I was so late and I should have… I should have been at work when it happened. I could have been killed. Should have been."
His eyes narrowed as he looked at her. They were like chips of ice, the palest blue, and cold. "As far as anyone else knows, you were."
She squeezed her eyes shut against his knowing expression, anything to avoid his hateful gaze, considering his words. They confirmed her suspicion that she wasn't in hospital, despite the bed and I.V. Further, they heavily implied that the world at large believed her dead. Her memory of the collapse was still fractured, all sound and sensation, no vision, but she could imagine it. In all that rubble, in all that chaos… Some people would never be found.
One memory was becoming clearer and clearer, however, rising to the surface above all others. This man staring down at her, feeling her throat for a pulse, lifting her with disconcerting ease and carrying her to safety. She could recall him moving unerringly even through the pitch darkness of all the smoke and debris. There had been no panic, no surprise on his face. Just an intensity she couldn't… It was too vague. She couldn't remember it specifically enough to understand what it might mean.
"You… Saved me," she said, even though that wasn't quite the case.
"I took you from the rubble, yes." That was more accurate. Alia didn't believe for a moment that he'd truly rescued her. He'd taken her, hidden her away, and allowed everyone who might care to think she'd died in that blast. This was not heroism.
"Why?" she demanded, and for the first time her voice sounded strong. "What do you want from me?"
Something in his face changed. Until now he'd been blank, emotionless, but her words kindled an anger in him that caused his eyes to flash and his jaw to clench.
"You know something. Something I must know." He leaned closer, close enough that she could hear his breath, feel it ghosting across her face. His voice deepened and he bit off every word as though he wanted to spit each one at her. "You will tell me, or I will kill everyone you've ever met or cared about."
I think I know what I'm doing here but reviews would be most welcome :)