leave crisp note footprints

nc-17 | sexual content

"I'm can't take that damn idiot professor anymore!"

Diana winced as he slammed the door behind him. He put his bag on the loveseat and kicked off his shoes before joining her on the sofa. He lifted her legs up so he had room to sit and then lay her feet back down in his lap.

She could empathize with him; he had more experience and knowledge than any of his professors, but unless he actually finished his classes and completed his dissertation, he couldn't put a degree on his CV. And as dedicated as he was to preventing the end of the world, he was desperate for the normal life he'd put on hold for forty-five years.

Once he experienced overly long staff meetings, budget cuts, quotas, and the frustration of office politics, he might change his mind and miss the days when it was just him and Akane in their operation on the Moon. But for right now, he wanted it, with a youthful exuberance that she loved seeing in him.

He may have matured, but she got the feeling he never had a chance to grow up.

She set her laptop on the coffee table and reached for his hand.

"After today, it's just two more weeks of her. You can make it."

"Some of the things she's teaching were discredited years ago."

"You can't blame her for not knowing the future."

"No, I mean there was a paper discrediting some of these things literally last year. Real time, not 'fucked-up old man time' as our darling daughter would say."

Her laptop beeped and she pulled her legs away from him to sit up.

"How's it going?"

"Slowly," she sighed. 'NO MATCH' flashed on her screen. She revised the search criteria and started again.

Genetic information on every child up for adoption in the country was collected to screen for genetic diseases. The SOIS had collected the data from the last twenty years and gotten it to Diana so she could run searches on it for a specific nucleotide sequence that Akane had given her. She felt somewhat uncomfortable doing it, but Akane asserted there was a good reason for it.

Unfortunately, there was no national registry, so Diana had to run the search on each data set from all fifty-one states, one at a time.

"We have time."

She wished she could be as confident as he was. Akane had said there wasn't a massive disruption in the morphogenetic field - the kind that might arise if all the beings who could access it suddenly fell silent - for another five years and two months. Even though Diana had long abandoned any doubts she had about the reality of the field, it was hard to believe Akane could pinpoint the apocalypse with it.

But Sigma had faith, so she tried to, as well.

"All we're doing is hitting dead ends. Alice says there's no missing nuclear material. Junpei's researched every crazy religious cult he can find, but none of them are into doomsday scenarios. Now Akane has us tracking down adopted kids and doing background on genetic researchers, and I don't understand how this all fits in place."

She started to lay back down, but he took her hand and pulled her into his lap. He slid his hands under her shirt and kissed that spot behind her ear that made her tremble.

"I'm trying to work here," she protested, half-heartedly.

"You just started California. That'll take forever."

His voice was cajoling, but he halted his hands on her hips, waiting for a cue from her. She slid back and off his legs, giving him a small smile as she knelt down in front of him. She watched his face as she unzipped his pants. When she pulled down his jeans and boxers just enough to expose his erection, he let out a shuddering breath. As much as he seemed to enjoy everything they did together, she knew he particularly enjoyed this.

He groaned as she lowered her mouth onto him. She had never particularly liked performing fellatio before - it usually felt demeaning - but the first time she had surprised Sigma by waking him up this way, she realized she'd just never had the right partner before. She couldn't take all of him in, so she ran her hand up and down the base in tandem with her mouth. He never pushed down her head or thrust up against her. Sometimes he'd stroke her hair. Sometimes he'd dig his hands into whatever was close - the sides of a chair, the sheets on their bed, the cushion of the sofa. But he always watched, intently, telling her how incredible she was, how incredible it felt, how much he loved her.

He put a hand on her shoulder to let her know if she wanted to withdraw, she had to do it now. She pulled back just enough to leave the tip of him in her mouth and waited, swirling her tongue over the head.

He growled as he lost it, the familiar bitter taste hitting her tongue. He was staring at her with something in his eyes that couldn't be defined. It went beyond attraction, or love, or even devotion.

When she was down on her knees in front of him like this, she felt powerful.

She gently tucked him back into his pants and rose up to sit back beside him. It took him a few moments to gather his wits, his strength, but then he was guiding her back onto the sofa, kissing her hard. It never seemed to bother him when he could taste himself on her tongue. He hiked up her skirt and yanked down her underwear, tossing it aside. (She made a mental note to remember the general vicinity, so she can retrieve them before Phi comes over tonight.)

He kissed her knee, her thigh, and then he was right there and she lost her ability to speak, to think. Sigma could probably recite the entire collected works of Shakespeare while they made love - probably in perfect iambic pentameter, too - but she sounded like an aphasia patient the minute his hands or his tongue or his anything was on her.

He slid two thick fingers inside her, his tongue moving over her, just the right amount of pressure, more on the left than the right, like someone had given him an instruction manual for her body.

It didn't take long; having him in her mouth, watching him climax, had put her close to the edge. She felt the tension building in her legs until it seemed like her bones might snap, and then she was falling apart, trembling, crying out.

He pulled her skirt down and got up off the couch, heading towards the kitchen. She managed to sit up by the time he returned with a cold bottle of water.

"Your laptop's been beeping."


She tucked her legs underneath her and leaned into him, his arm lazily thrown around her shoulders.

"I think you got a hit."

He reached over to the coffee table and put her computer in his lap. Sure enough, it read 'MATCH FOUND: 43'.

"I hope I didn't mess something up," she said.

"What do you mean?"

"From what Akane said, this sequence should only match about one in a million people."

He rubbed her shoulder. "Yeah, but there's, what, three hundred and sixty million people in the United States? So that'll match three hundred and sixty Americans."

"There are only about seven thousand children up for adoption in California every year. Even if we assume that means seven thousand new kids being put up for adoption every year, that would be one hundred and forty thousand in twenty years. That forty-three of them would meet this criterion is ... odd."

He fell silent. She thought he was just pondering the situation until she glanced up at him and saw a worried expression on his face.


"Free the Soul utilized clones."

"But they dissolved when ... when their leader died. Akane said without his guidance, they fell apart." An unpleasant thought crossed her mind. "She wouldn't lie to us, would she?"

"Yeah, she would, but not about something this important. Regardless, it doesn't make sense for someone from Free the Soul to be involved. If this data we're going through is important, then the fanatic has been planning this for years. So if someone in his own cult was the terrorist, he could have mind hacked them easily and solved the problem. Even if ... Brother's death ended up radicalizing one of the members, it's pretty obvious that he was utilizing SHIFTers to learn about the future and other histories. You'd think someone would have told him."

Diana sat up. "Wait, go back - you think Akane would lie to us?"

"For her, the ends always justify the means." He noticed her dismayed stare and covered her hand with his. "I'm not trying to ... I mean, everyone lies, and everyone thinks they have a good reason when they do it."

"I don't," she said, indigently.

He smirked at her. "Really? What about last week when you told Phi she looked cute in that ... thing she called a dress?"

"She did. You only disapproved because you're looking at her through a father's eyes now, instead of ... the way you thought about her when you first met her."

Sigma actually blushed, deeper than anything she'd seen before on his face. "What ... ahem ... exactly did Phi say to you?"

"Something about 'sandwiched between a girl's th-'"

"O-O-Okay, look, that - I - I clearly had no clue she was my daughter, and I never would have said anything about that or the swimsuits or the cucumber if I had known who she was."

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Cucumber?"

His gaze shifted off to the right, and he bit his lip as if deep in thought. "Shit. That was Alice and Luna, wasn't it?"

"Were you just making passes at every woman in the place?"

His face turned even redder, something she hadn't thought was possible; he started to stammer out an explanation, but she stopped him with her lips on his.

"I'm teasing, Sigma. I can hardly be jealous about something from before I even met you."

He kissed her in response, pulling her back into his lap, letting her feel that he was already growing hard again. "Let's go upstairs. There are advantages to having a twenty-three-year-old body."

"Oh, let me start the next search first. I want to try to finish this tonight."

He moaned in mock frustration against her neck, but released her. "Are you going alphabetically? Maybe you should start with the most populous states first."

She quickly set up a search for New York. As soon as she hit enter, he stood and swept her up in his arms. He started to make his way to the stairs, but she stopped him.

"We have to grab my underwear first, in case Phi gets here early."

He scoffed, but quickly located it and kicked it under a chair. She didn't really feel like protesting.

They were halfway up the stairs and out of earshot when her computer started beeping again.