inside out, upside-down twisting beside myself

nc-17 | sexual content

When he finally glanced over at the clock, he realized he had been pacing for almost an hour. Whoever was in the room below him was probably pissed. But there was too much to think about; his attempt at sleep had been thwarted by a million thoughts running through his mind.

There was a soft knock on his door. At seventeen minutes after midnight, he presumed it was either Akane or Phi, who were probably also obsessing over recent events. Or maybe the person in Room 213 was here to punch him in the face for keeping them awake by walking back and forth for the past hour on his floor, their ceiling.

He really didn't want to talk to Akane right now - or get punched in the face, for that matter - but in the event it was Phi, he reluctantly opened the door.

Diana was clad in black sweatpants and a green t-shirt, her hair flowing over her shoulders. She stood in front of him with her arms wrapped around herself. The hallway was entirely too cold; he could see goosebumps rising and his instinct was to pull her close to warm her up.

"Shit. Are you in 213?"

"Huh? No, I'm down the hall. I just - I couldn't sleep, and I thought - if you were still up..."

Before she could get too flustered, he stepped aside to let her in to his room. She seemed to be unable to make eye contact, her gaze settling on his chest for a few moments and then dropping to the floor, her cheeks turning red. He was suddenly aware of the fact that he was only wearing a pair of pajama pants. He hastily dug into his luggage and pulled a shirt over his head.

It felt a bit silly to be concerned about covering up, when there wasn't an inch of each other's bodies that they hadn't explored in multiple timelines. Sigma had seen her scars, the small mole sitting between her breasts; she had teased him about the birthmark on his left thigh that almost looked like a tiny arrow pointing to his cock. But in this history, their bodies were still relative strangers.

"Did you need to talk?" If he let his thoughts wander in that direction, he was soon going to be unable to hide what it was doing to him.

He was almost positive that Diana wanted to pursue something in this timeline. When they had been riding away from Dcom, she had shyly sought out his hand. He would have pulled her into a tight embrace right then and there, but he figured she'd be uncomfortable, as they shared the SUV with Mira, Eric, and Sean. Then there had been the miscommunication at the hospital that left him waiting outside an empty room for an hour, when she had already left for the hotel. He was exhausted - they probably all were - so he had gone to his own room and resolved to talk to her in the morning, after they had both rested.

Of course, even after helping himself to the minibar, sleep was elusive. Hence the pacing at midnight.

She looked upset. She kept opening her mouth as if to speak, but no sound came out. With the same tentativeness she had in the SUV, he moved closer to her and took her hands. Her fingers felt delicate and cold.

"Are you okay?"

She took a deep breath before finally asking, "Where do we go from here?"

"I ... I'm not sure."

Her face contorted in sadness but he didn't know what else to say. They knew nothing about this alleged fanatic, not even his or her religion - the one that might, supposedly, drive them to destroy humanity. There was no plan yet. All he knew was that the Crash Keys were abandoning their Nevada headquarters, in case the location was compromised, and planning to set up elsewhere. He wished he could promise her that everything would be fine, that there was a plan, that he had some idea what to do.

"Well, uh, Junpei apparently has some documents from Free the Soul's headquarters. They're all in code, but it's a start."

"Oh." Her expression cleared for a moment. "I ... I mean, that's important, that we find ... I didn't mean ... I meant, where do we go from here?"

He couldn't help but grin. This was an easier question.

"Wherever we want, I'd imagine," he said softly.

"Did you ... were you going to ... do you want to go back to school? Resume your ... life?"

He was confused; was she really asking what he thought she was? It sounded like she wanted to know if he planned on walking away from her, from his family. If there was a 'we' to consider at all.

He pulled her close, resting his chin on top of her head. He didn't really want her to see the hurt that he was sure was in his eyes; how could she even think such a thing? His body was young, but his mind had been longing for this.

Then again, he realized he didn't know exactly how much she recalled from the other timelines, aside from bringing their children into the world and then sending them away. He didn't particularly want to ask her about it; if she couldn't recall some of the nastier aspects of their captivity, Sigma didn't want to encourage her to relive them.

"I want a life with you. Whatever that looks like. It doesn't have to be in a ... a romantic sense. I understand if you - if you need more time." He didn't know how much time they really had left in this world but if she wanted slow, they would do slow.

She stepped back, just enough so that she could make eye contact, so that she could touch his face. In spite of what he just said, he couldn't help pressing a kiss to the inside of her wrist. The skin was soft and smelled faintly of gingerbread. Even on the Moon, she had liked to wear special scents around the holidays.

"Phi said there's an infinite number of other universes," she whispered. "Then we've spent infinite hours together in them, right? Isn't that enough time? I don't want to waste any more."

He could have protested her logic, told her that he didn't want her making decisions out of desperation or fear, but whether it was SHIFTing together or just enduring repeated jumps during their time in the shelter, he felt a connection to her through the field. It hadn't been there when they were living together on the Moon. He didn't think it was just him projecting his emotions onto her. He could sense a ... serenity in her, a certainty that this was the right path to take.

"I want you," he whispered back.

"You can have me."

He had her up in his arms in an instant, carrying her to his bed and gently laying her down, covering her body with his. He hesitated for only a moment.

"You did mean sex, right?"

She laughed, although there was a hint of an honest, anxious query in his gentle teasing. She reached into her pants pocket, taking out a condom and placing it on the nightstand. He smirked at her.

"Just one?"

"There's a box back in my room." She suddenly turned beet red. "I ran into Junpei while I was buying them."

"Did he say anything to you?" He could remember the accusatory stares of their fellow participants when Delta had informed them all of their dalliances in the other timeline. Sigma had been waiting for one of them to go off on him or Diana for essentially causing this whole damn mess, but so far, nobody had.

"Considering he was shopping in the same aisle, he really couldn't chastise me."


Her smile disappeared as her expression turned serious. "This almost doesn't feel real. It's so ... so insane. But it is real, right?"

Steading himself on his knees and one arm, he brought one of her hands to his chest.

"We're really here," he said. "What we have between us is real. Is this okay? If you're not sure, or not ready -"

"Oh, shut up, Sigma." She slid her hand from over his heart to behind his neck, pulling him down. He settled partly on top of her, partly next to her, as he kissed her like his life depended on it.

For a long time, it was just that - angling and re-angling his head as he explored her mouth. It shifted from hard and desperate to soft and leisurely, with him occasionally letting his lips wander to her cheeks, her ear, her neck, her collarbone. Invariably, though, she would grab the collar of his shirt and pull him back up so she could capture his mouth in another kiss.

"I'd like to get you out of these clothes," Sigma murmured as he pulled away, reluctantly. Her lips were swollen, red around the edges from rough kisses and his day-old stubble. "Is that okay?"

"You're not going to ask that every time you do something, are you?"

"I-I just -"

She stroked the side of his face. "You have my consent."

"I ... look, I'm not trying to say I know you better than you know yourself. I just ... before, it was almost a reflex for you to deny your own desires and capitulate to your partner's. It was too easy to just say everything was fine because you feared a confrontation. I want you to feel safe saying no, or telling me to slow down or stop."

Diana just stared at him, blinking rapidly, and he thought he'd fucked up, ruined the mood. But then she took his hand and brought it to the bottom of her shirt, curling his fingers around the cloth.

"Yes," she whispered. "It's okay."

He didn't press the issue further. It felt like there could be a fine line between being sensitive and being neurotic and he wanted to make sure he stayed on the right side. He removed her shirt, leaving her hair beautifully tousled and splayed across his pillow. She had on a sports bra underneath her top, just like she used to wear to bed on the Moon; she used to say she didn't like her breasts 'flopping around'. She arched her back a bit, clueing him into the fact that it had clasps in the back like a regular bra. Even with forty-plus years being out of practice, he undid them with ease and slipped it off her shoulders.

She tugged at his shirt and he tossed it aside quickly, eager to lavish attention on her breasts. Her nipples were nearly the same color as her skin - a barely-there peach shade, even when they were erect like they were now. He kept eye contact with Diana as he lowered his head, covered one of the small nubs with his mouth. She gasped, brought her arm up in an awkward position, her left hand between her shoulder and her breast.

Covering her scars, he realized. He gently took her hand and brought it to his lips.

"You're beautiful, Diana."

She bit her lip, averted her eyes. "I guess it's silly. Y-Y-You've seen them before, I'm sure."

He had, but he had never seen her so self-conscious about them in the past. Then again ... maybe she would have thought it was insensitive to express worry about marks from three inch-long lacerations in lieu of the scars he used to have where his real flesh met the ABT.

Unsure of what was the best thing to do, he rose back up and kissed her, a gentle brushing of lips turning more heated almost instantly.

When she reached between his legs and pressed her hand against him, he groaned into her mouth. He was already hard and the span from the heel of her hand to the tip of her middle finger couldn't quite totally cover the length of him.

"Hopefully you remembered to get extra-large condoms," he whispered.

She flushed but didn't look away as she pulled loose the drawstring of his pants and pushed them down his hips, taking his underwear with it. Her arms couldn't even reach mid-thigh, so he finished the job, kicking it aside. He was eager to remove her pants as well, but not until she initiated it or asked him to.

Right now, she just seemed interested in touching him. Her fingers curled around his cock and her eyes fluttered shut.

"This is so strange."

"That's ... not really something a guy wants to hear when a woman has her hand on his dick, Diana."

She laughed as she kept stroking him. "I just mean ... it feels so normal and natural to be lying here with you like this. I've - I've lived a lifetime with you and it's barely been a week since we met."

For her it may have felt natural, but for him it was still unreal. Sigma had loved her, lost her, come back to save her (and everyone else) and was on the verge of having almost everything he ever wanted. He still feared waking up to discover he was back on the Rhizome and it was just a dream. He didn't deserve to be so lucky.

Diana released him to get rid of her own sweatpants and he immediately moved down the bed, pressing a soft kiss to her inner thigh.

"O-O-Oh, you don't have to."

"I know." He grinned at her. "May I?"

She nodded, almost imperceptibly, her cheeks growing pink once more. He intended only to tease her, make sure she was so aroused there was no chance of him hurting her; he wanted to be inside her again so badly. But then he tasted her and he knew he couldn't stop until he felt her pulsing against his tongue. She put her hand on his head but just as quickly pulled it away.

"You can, if you want."

She tentatively touched him, digging into his hair as she looked away.

"I want you to watch me, Diana. Watch what I'm doing to you."

Sigma didn't resume until her eyes were locked on his. He teased her with his tongue, tracing circles around her clit, her opening. Her grip tightened and he took the hint, moving harder, faster. When he slid two fingers inside her, curling them up, pressing against her inner wall, she nearly sat up on the bed, but didn't break eye contact. He silently hoped she was close, because he was so hard it ached and if he didn't bury his cock into her soon, he thought he might explode.

Her eyes widened and she gasped, almost as if she had read his mind. She angled her pelvis up and then he felt her muscles contracting around his fingers. He eased his pressure on her clit - it got too sensitive after orgasm - and slowed his finger movements as well. She only closed her eyes when it was over and she fell back.

She looked glorious, in her post-climax glow, her breasts shaking slightly as she her chest heaved, her face and neck flushed. He never got tired of seeing her like this, knowing he had done this to her.

He snatched the condom off the nightstand and slipped it on as quickly as he could. Positioning himself above her, he caressed her face, getting her to look at him again.

"Stop me if I'm going too fast. If I hurt you."

She rolled her eyes at him.

It's your penis, Sigma not -

"... not Thor's mighty hammer," he finished, before he realized she hadn't spoken the words aloud. Diana's mouth fell open in surprise.

He had known that telepathy, of a sorts, was possible through the morphogenetic field, but he had never actually experienced it. He hadn't even known she was an esper until yesterday.

She silently reached for him and he could deny her nothing. Sigma pushed into her gently as he took her hand and interlaced their fingers. She gasped but there was no need to ask if she was okay, not like this. The connection between them let him feel emotions emanating off her. She was desperate to have him inside her, aroused beyond belief. Her happiness was tinged only by the realization that she hadn't been this happy in a long, long time.

He wondered what she could sense from him, if she was aware of the sadness that had rooted itself deep in his soul, that he worried had poisoned him. Or was she only conscious of his desire, how turned on he was by feeling how tight she was around his cock, feeling her warm breast under his palm? Did she know how relieved he was that she was safe, how determined he was to make sure she stayed that way for a long, long time?

"Yes," she said. "I can ... I've never - oh god, Sigma."

And Diana didn't have to verbalize that she wanted him to pick up the pace, start pounding her into the mattress. It had taken her a while on the Moon to become comfortable enough to say out loud fuck me harder or I want to suck your dick but he swore her thoughts right at that moment were just as explicit as his.

He spread her legs a little wider before propping himself up and thrusting into her with more force. She moaned like a fucking porn star and it spurred him on. Soon she was clinging to him, grabbing his ass, tilting her head back to expose her neck, making him wish he was more coordinated and could manage to fuck her and kiss the soft skin there. She slid one hand between them, rubbing her clit, and that sight was it for him.

I can't - Diana - I'm gonna -

She cried out a split second before he did, her hand stilling as his hips faltered. He stayed buried in her, listening to her breathing as he nuzzled her neck and gently nipped at her collarbone.

"I ... I didn't imagine that, did I?" she finally asked. "You were in my head. Or I was in yours?"

"Not ... not quite like that. But yeah, sort of."

"That was ... Sigma ... is ... was it always like that?"

He extracted himself from her reluctantly, settling as close as he could without lying right on top of her. Diana turned on her side, entwining her legs with his, reaching up to caress his face.

"It's never been like that before," he said softly, resting his forehead against hers. Before he could say anything else, her stomach growled so loudly that it startled him.

"Sorry." Her cheeks, already flushed from sex, darkened even more.

"Don't be. This place has 24-hour room service, you know."

"Isn't that expensive?"

"Akane can afford it." He reached over her to grab the phone, shivering when she kissed his shoulder as he did so.

Their connection seemed to be fading, but he still felt her profession of love before she whispered it in his ear.