surrounded by a billion galaxies

nc-17 | sexual content

He ends the call with Akane, staring at his phone as the screen returns to the normal background - a picture of Phi reading something from a computer screen as Diana studiously makes notes on her tablet. Neither of them particularly like getting their picture taken, so he had snapped it without warning and both of them had chastised him right after the flash went off.

At the bottom of the screen, the date and time were displayed. April 23rd, 2029. 1:17 am. He runs his fingers over the text, even though the pixels on the screen give no tangible proof of their existence.

Sometimes he still can't believe it's real. He's here. Whenever the younger Sigma shifted back to - be it the timeline with Radical-6 or another - he didn't come here.

He knows nothing is a guarantee. Another Sigma may shift in here at any time, and he may find himself facing down death while some other version of him takes over his life.

But for right now, he's here with Diana, and he doesn't feel like wasting any more time ruminating over this.

She's in the kitchen, making hot chocolate. Her hair is still damp from her shower and she's clad in a blue nightgown. It's the one he gave her for her birthday. He watches her as she carefully adds milk and entirely too many marshmallows.

"You're going to burn your tongue."

"Probably." She lifts the mug to her lips and almost instantly winces. He steps up behind her and wraps his arms around her waist.

"Told you so."

She sets the mug on the counter and relaxes into his embrace. "What did Akane say?"

"She's glad we're safe. She wishes things hadn't been so ..."


"Yes. But she's thankful you were able to get the information. She's going to arrange a dead drop with Phi tomorrow."

"Dead drop?"

"It ... it's safe. That's all you need to know."

"Sigma," she sighs. He knows she hates it when he tries to protect her from anything, even worry.

"It means Phi and the person picking up the case don't meet. She leaves it somewhere and then the other person retrieves it."

She seems satisfied with that. She picks up her mug again and blows across the surface of the hot chocolate, the marshmallows bouncing up and down in the liquid.

"Did you leave enough hot water for me to get a shower?"

Diana nods. "Don't stay too long, though."

"You're going to be asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow."

She slips out of his arms and heads towards the stairs. "I won't let my head hit the pillow, then."


True to her word, when Sigma exits their bathroom, towel wrapped around his waist, she's still awake, propped up in their bed, reading a book. He almost wishes she was asleep; she had barely slept the night before. From the moment Akane had called her, Diana had been on edge, worried she wouldn't be pull off what she was being asked to do.

Truth be told, he had been terrified. He and Akane had exchanged a flurry of angry texts, in which he questioned why exactly it had to be done within twenty-four hours (because the data and samples were scheduled to move out to another facility in thirty-six) and why the hell someone else couldn't do it (because the job required interpreting complicated medical data on the fly, in order to know exactly what had to be stolen).

Akane had rejected Sigma's proposal - that he just steal everything when it was in transit and let Diana sort out everything in the safety of their home, later - as being too risky. (But the risk would have been his, not Diana's, which was all that mattered to Sigma.) Ultimately, they had been successful, but he still wishes Diana had refused. He fears Akane asking her to do more things like this in the future. If Junpei hadn't caught the spy alerting the facility to Diana's mission -

"Sigma? Are you okay?"

He shakes his head slightly, as if to cast out unwelcome thoughts.

"Just thinking."

"You can always do that later." She pats his side of the bed and he doesn't need a second invitation. He drops his towel to the floor and joins her under the covers.

"I love this nightgown for very, very selfish reasons," he murmurs against her lips.

"I love you. So much."

After four months (and ten months and three years) it shouldn't affect him the way it still does. Every declaration of love is a gift.

He figures she must be exhausted, so he lays down, pulling her against his side. It's her favorite position to fall asleep in; she says listening to his heartbeat makes her feel safe and content.

Diana surprises him, though, by straddling his waist and pressing a soft kiss to his chest, just above his heart.

"You're not tired?"

"I am. But I want this. Oh. Are you too tired? I'm so-"

He reaches up and cups her face in his hands, running a thumb over her lips, shifting his hips just enough to show her he definitely was not too tired. He starts to roll her over, onto her back, but she stops him.

"Is like this okay?" she asks as she pulls her nightgown over her head.

"I ... are you sure?" As much as he loves giving her control and being able to watch her move on top of him, they rarely make love like this. Her abusive marriage had left her with scars on her arm and chest, as well as insecurity and self-consciousness. The scars were barely visible, but she still always wore clothing to cover them in public, and preferred Sigma to be on top, saying she felt less exposed.

She nods, but he can still sense her anxiety. He let his hands rest on her hips, his thumbs making small circles on her skin.

"Those marks are beautiful."

"Sigma, you don't ha-"

"They show how fucking strong you are. They tell the story of how you fought him off, how you left him, how you regained control of your life. I hate the fact that he hurt you, and if I ever meet him, I might rip off the hand he used to try to stab you -"


"- but they don't make you any less attractive to me. I'm so damn proud of you."

"Sigma." Her voice is a soft whisper. She's biting her lip and looks as if she might cry.

"I don't want to upset you. And I don't want you to do anything you're not comfortable with. Ever."

"I'm not upset. I'm really not. I just ... I'm so lucky to have you."

With that, she leans over and kisses him, hard, and he gets the impression that the time for talking is over. His hands slide up her side, cupping her breasts. She moans against his mouth when he teases her nipples with his thumbs.

"I ... I like this. I do. I love ... oh, Sigma. God."

He loves seeing her like this. The flush that sweeps over her chest. The way her eyes very nearly close, like she's overwhelmed with sensation but still wants - or needs - to see him. The way her lower lip trembles. And especially the face she makes when he slips a hand between her legs. The whimper she makes as he pushes a finger into her.

"Sigma. Sigma!"

"You're so fucking beautiful." When they made love, Diana usually became incoherent, incapable of anything but moaning his name over and over, interspersed with please and oh god. It seemed to have the opposite effect on him; he usually couldn't stop talking. "I'm the lucky one, Diana. I don't know what I did to deserve you."

She silences him with her mouth on his, her hips moving frantically against his hand. When she has to break the kiss to breathe, she rests her forehead against his, gasping as he fucks her with his fingers, his thumb rubbing against her clit.

"Please, Sigma. Please."

He's not sure what exactly she's begging for until she shifts away from his hand and wraps her fingers around his cock. He grits his teeth, trying to stay completely still as she lowers herself onto him. The first time they had tried this position, he had thrust up into her with a bit too much enthusiasm; this Diana in this history wouldn't remember the pain of that experience, and he was determined she never would.

"Oh god. Sigma. Oh god."

There was a primitive part of his brain that reveled in being able to reduce her to just moans and pleas. She was a brilliant, educated, eloquent woman, but when he was inside her, she could barely manage simple sentences.

The caveman in him is pleased.

"You were so incredible today, Diana."

"I ... Sigma ... I was scared ... scared I would mess ... would let you ... disappoint -"

"Never." He puts his hands on her hips, just to have contact, not to control her movements. "You constantly impress me, Diana."

"God, I love ... I love it when you say my name like that."

He knows her well enough to recognize that she's close; he moves one hand to her clit and she cries out.

"I love you, Diana."

"Yes, please, please."

There's several moments where the only sounds are her body slamming against his, his voice chanting her name. Then she freezes, fully impaled on him, and he can feel her body pulsing.

"Fuck! Fucking fuck fuck." The last vestige of control falls away. His sits up abruptly, wrapping his arms around her as he empties himself into her. It drains him of his strength and he falls back against his pillow, panting heavily.

Diana has a glazed look on her face, as if she's somewhere else. She blinks and her eyes slowly focus back on him. She raises herself up and off of him and he reaches out to her with trembling arms. With no hesitation, she slips into his embrace, her head resting against his chest.

"We're like a Möbius strip," she says, eventually.

"How so?"

"I fell in love with the you that already fell in love with me. And you fell in love with the me that already fell in love with you. There's no beginning. Just ... an endless loop."

He feels her shiver against him, so he reaches down and pulls up the blanket over both of them. "I like the 'endless' part."

"Me too," she mumbles.

He waits until she's definitely asleep to allow himself to fall into a peaceful slumber, dreaming of a future where there is no map, no destiny, no certainty, and he's perfectly okay with it.