A/N: I apologize for the delay. This chapter teeters on a more mature rating, but not quite. But be forewarned that while it may have taken me a few drafts, things get a bit… heated.

In the darkness of a small room, blue eyes flew open.

Carol awoke dizzily, sitting up in her bed faster than her brain could handle. While her muscles felt rested, her mind was still reeling from the images that it had just struggled to process. Much of it, she felt, was too surreal to have actually happened…

Her clothes were beyond the term 'wrinkled' once she finally rose from the bed. She couldn't recall for the life of her the events immediately leading up to her falling asleep, but she did remember a revealing conversation with a Vulcan doctor... not to mention the concern etched in Khan's voice when he asked her to retire to bed.

Stumbling to the bathroom, Carol found a uniform set out for her – the typical charcoal on steel blue coloration of the Starfleet Black Ops. She wondered vaguely if it had been laid out intentionally or if this was the typical setup in most of the bedrooms.

Doesn't matter, she concluded, sliding out of her current outfit to shower before changing into the new one.

Her senses were still groggy, but she didn't delay in slipping outside her door and searching for signs to indicate that everything that had happened in the hours leading up to her spiral towards unconsciousness was not just a wild dream. This evidence presented itself much faster than she expected, as she passed by the windows overlooking Engineering and saw… well.

At least twenty or thirty men and women were down there, toiling away beneath tremendous machines or concentrating on computer screens. Some of them were in clothes very similar to hers, but others wore a golden, loose-fitting outfit that she recognized from the archives as the symbol of royalty in Khan Noonien Singh's empire. They were augments, just like him.

"Dr. Marcus!" piped up a female voice, causing her thoughts to go scuttling in all directions as she jumped, ever so slightly, in surprise.

The speaker was a very thin, remarkably tall woman of Asian descent. She was dressed like a mirror or Carol, only with large utility gloves on her hands.

"The captain would like to speak to you on the bridge" She stated evenly. "And I would like to thank you personally for your efforts to save us and our leader."

"Oh," Carol replied, dumbfounded as the woman bowed graciously. "It was no problem. Thank you for letting me know."

She walked away quickly, analyzing that conversation over and over in her mind until she reached her destination.

The doors of the elevator parted, and Khan stood at the center of the bridge. But he was not alone.

"Carol," he said pleasantly, turning to face her as she approached. "I see you are well rested."

"Yes, thank you." She replied, her gaze wandering to the new faces.

"These are my most tried and trusted friends." He explained, as each of the five crew members rose from their seats to greet her.

Khan provided her with names, their new position on the ship, and sometimes a brief anecdote on their history during the Eugenics Wars. They all seemed like very normal men and women… hardly power-hungry and mad, despite the impression their leader had instilled.

"I must say that I am surprised." She told him confidence once they left the bridge to continue their conversation down the long, dimly lit corridors of the Dreadknought ship.


"That I wasn't treated with resentment by those of a superior blood."

A regular human may have shrugged, but Khan replied with confidence, "Some are intentionally bred to be superior, others unintentionally. You are merely the latter."

"They refer to you as their captain." Her pace began to slow, and soon they were at a standstill in the hallway. "I thought you didn't like the title?"

"To you, Carol Marcus, I am only Khan." He told her, beginning to gently stroke the hair just above her ear.

This behavior perplexed her. Admittedly, this was quite typical of most of his actions, but she couldn't help but feel that she was missing something very important.

"May I ask what has happened since I fell asleep?"

"Only a few tedious errands."

That could have meant anything from cleaning the starship's windows to declaring war on the Klingon Empire. Thankfully, Khan elaborated:

"We intercepted a few cargo vessels and support vessels hailing from Starfleet. Currently, we are attempting to retrofit parts to give these new ships advanced warp capabilities."

"Excuse me… let me make sure I heard this correctly…" she put in tensely. "You essentially pirated ships and supplies from Starfleet outposts and cited it as tedious errands?"

"Very tedious." He sighed. "I designed this vessel to be a warship, but it seems that its incredible speed and responsiveness make it ideally suited to a life of interstellar piracy."

"That hardly seems like an adequate replacement for the empire you had in mind."

"All in good time, my dear." He said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "We have the capacity to travel independently for decades without need of fuel or cargo, but my gradual efforts will be to build a fleet with which we can defend ourselves from external forces that mean to harm us."

"Defend or conquer?" she interrogated. "There is an important distinction between the two."

"You have trusted me to this point, my dear," pointed out Khan, stepping closer and lifting a hand to her face. "You have seen that I am capable of restraint. Though, in all probability, you diminish your role in my developing sense of empathy."

"That's flattering and all, but it's far more likely that the presence of your crew, alive and well, has allowed you a break from the anxious psychosis that was affecting your decision-making."

"That is a cogent argument you present." He admitted. "Incorrect, but almost believable."

She wanted to roll her eyes, but it might detract from her case. "And what about the doctors from New Vulcan?"

"As you can clearly see from the communications record," he ceased tracing her cheek to activate a panel set against the wall. "I placed them in secure pods and then launched those at a habitable planet near the Vesta Sector. Starfleet was hailed as to their location, although the beacons with them should have proven sufficient."

She furrowed her brows as she scrolled down the logs. "There's also something here about me. What was Captain Kirk doing so far beyond the neutral zone?"

"Your presence on New Vulcan was reported by the man you stunned in the supplies closet. The only plausible explanation for Kirk's subsequent behavior is a sort of god-complex he develops regarding those he considers part of his crew."

Carol had to exercise every measure of restraint to keep herself from laughing outright at that statement. "You are truly one to talk."

"Be that as it may," he scoffed. "We do not have to fear from him or Starfleet. Our current technology far surpasses theirs, and our ability to innovate will maintain that considerable distance."

"So we finally have a chance to breathe."

"Among…" the glimmer in his pale blue eyes was now distinctly predatory. "Other things."

It began as a hand on her waist and a smoldering look in the eyes of the augment. Then, all at once and far too quickly, she was hoisted against the wall, his lips moving against hers like those of a starving man.

The last kiss they shared was ecstasy, to say the least. But this was raw passion, unfiltered by barriers of distrust. Carol knew that she wanted this man. Not just because of the enticing physicality of him, but the cunning he possessed that kept her spinning on her tiptoes in an effort to keep up.

In all honesty, she relished the challenge he presented. The warmth and passion he was capable of showing was like a magnet to her own. And now that she was caught in its pull, Carol was unable to stop the attraction.

"This is highly inappropriate." She said in between breaths, slipping her hands beneath the soft fabric of his shirt, dragging her nails in a way that made him moan against her cheek.

"I can imagine situations far more inappropriate." He responded huskily, taking her ear lobe between his teeth, savoring the sharp sound of her pleasure.

"Brilliant man," came her defiant response. "I can do more than imagine."

He growled at her challenge, pleasantly taken aback by the way it made his blood race and heart pound in manner that skirmishes and savagery never could. The object of his attention was taking quite the dominant role, her back arching so that her head was above his and her hands finding unique roads from the flesh of his chest into his trousers.

He changed that rather decisively, pushing her hips against his, causing her to gasp in surprise as his bulge attempted to invade her through their clothing. She felt him smile against her neck and he teased it with bites and kisses alike, before scooping her into his arms breathlessly.

"Where are we going?" she asked hoarsely, as they passed many suitable rooms.

"A special chamber I created." He answered quickly, sliding open a section of the wall to reveal a place made almost entirely transparent, showcasing the nebulas and cosmic beauty around them like a moving painting.

"That you created for this purpose?" she asked suspiciously, eying the large bed.

"Oh, Carol, Carol, always with the speculation." He drawled. "I only recently had it outfitted for this purpose."

Before he could set her on the bed, she was clutching to his shoulders, trailing nibbles down his neck before settling her mouth over his.

"Khan." Was all she had to utter to make the torture unbearable. To make clothing fall and fabric tear as their moans echoed in the abyss of space.

He would have her first… if she let him.

A/N: Fan fact: Initially, I had Khan play it is bit kinky and kick everyone out of the bridge to have Carol there. Then I realized that was better left for a one-shot later on…

I apologize that this took AGES to write. As you might have noticed from my profile, some other fandoms came knocking insistently at my door. Before tearing it down and forcing me to write in order to receive bread and water. Good news though to Sherlock fans: there is now officially a fanfiction of John and Sherlock handcuffed to a bed in space.

When this story is complete (which should be by next chapter!), I think my inner fandemon will finally be sated.