Diana: D plus 00h : 13m : 26s and holding

nc-17 | sexual content

She staggered into the bathroom. She had managed to hold it together while everyone introduced themselves but her head felt like it was going to split open and she was shaking. The bathroom looked spotless, like everything else in the facility. Whether anything stained her clothing or not was a moot point; she was going to collapse, regardless.

Maybe Diana should have stayed with everyone else. She was going to faint. It could be minutes before someone found her, maybe even hours if nobody noticed she was missing. She started to move towards the toilet but changed her mind. If she went unconscious, she didn't want to fall off anything. She sat on the floor, resting her head against the wall.

It was just anxiety. It had to be. She had felt the flush on her face when Mr. Klim fixed his stare on her. He had frightened her. That was all. Just adrenaline. If she just rested for a moment, away from him, she would be fine. She -

"The analysis will take three hours."

Before she's even done speaking, he's behind her, undoing her belt. She puts up a half-hearted protest. They do have three hours. They've been too busy the past few days for this. Their first priority is to help with the research for a cure. There are still infected people, even after all this.

"Stop thinking," he murmurs against her ear. He strips her until she's in her underwear, her lab coat, skirt, shirt, all being tossed aside. He cups her breasts with his sixteen-day-old hands before removing her bra. His hands feel completely nor- no, she won't use that word. She won't even think it. He's too sensitive about it, thinks he's a freak. She could not care less about the fact that the fingers manipulating her nipples are made of metal and artificial flesh. They're his hands, touching her, arousing her.

"I love you," she says, because it's been too long since she's said it last. He echoes it back to her as he lifts her up, plants her on her back on a lab table that they never put anything on, because they do this fairly often. They've had sex in every room in this Rhizome, but next to their bed, this seems to be his favorite. She's not sure why, but she doesn't mind. At all.

He pulls off her underwear and gets rid of his own, yanking it off when he removes his pants. He makes no move to take off his shirt or his lab coat; he's sensitive about the scars where real flesh meets the ABT. Even when the redness fades, there will be clean lines of demarcation. With luck, they won't be very noticeable, but at the moment, he thinks they're hideous. She wants to see him, all of him, because he's beautiful even with the marred skin, even with the rudimentary prosthetic eye. She's never really been good at this, never been able to do it without feeling awkward, but -

"Look at what you're doing to me," she whispers, the heat of a blush blossoming on her face. Part arousal, part self-consciousness, as she spreads her legs, as she slips a finger between her labia. She's already swollen, slick, not quite ready for him, but almost. "Will you let me see you?"

"Diana." His voice is rough. Like her, part arousal, part self-consciousness.

It doesn't matter that she's seen it before. It doesn't matter that the first time she kissed him, he still only had the metallic skeleton. It doesn't matter that she was there, during the operation, assisting, in violation of the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics. (Although it likely could have fallen under their 'emergency settings or isolated settings' clause, given the major nursing shortage.) In spite of all that, he's still reluctant to expose himself to her. She wishes she could drive away his insecurity, but knows that's easier said than done.

She slides the hand that's not between her legs up his stomach, under his shirt. He works out every day to maintain his physique, probably harder than he ever did on Earth due to the weaker gravity. Feeling the muscles under her fingers sends a shiver up her spine.

"Please," she begs. "I ... I ... you're gorgeous, Sigma. Every inch of you."

He groans, weakly protests, but finally complies, and then he's as naked as she is. He replaces her fingers with his own, pressing them into her, up against the sensitive spongy spot on her inner wall. She's tight, too tight if he were to try to enter her now. But he rubs her clit with his other hand and she can feel her body preparing for him, growing wetter as he stretches her. She arches her back and he briefly stops what he's doing to bring her own hand to her breast. When she gently twists a nipple, his fingers falter inside of her. The urge to close her eyes is strong, but she keeps her gaze fixed on him. He needs to see that she's not repulsed by him.

He always waits for a signal from her, so when she feels loose enough, when she's ready, she blindly tries to reach for him as she mumbles, "Now."

With that, he pushes in slowly. "Fuck. It's like ... it's like our bodies were made for each other."

"Oh ... oh ... a woman's body acc ... oh ... accommodates for the size of her partner's ... oh god."

"There you go, taking all the romance out of it."

When her body has completely engulfed him, he pauses for a moment. The first time she saw him, fully erect and ready for her, she was honestly a little intimidated. He probably wasn't abnormally large for a man of his size, but it had still made her question her body's ability to adapt.

"Oh, god, Sigma!"

Assured that she was, in fact, accommodating him, he starts to thrust into her, gradually picking up speed. She loves watching his muscles tense as he slams into her, as he -

She gasped as she opened her eyes.

The tile of the bathroom wall was cold against her forehead. She was no longer trembling. The uneasy feeling from before was gone. She felt ... she felt great, actually. Like her body was flooded with endorphins.

Not ... not a panic attack, then. Her cheeks were still warm. She hadn't taken anything for the anxiety; her pills were in her bag back in her quarters. So ... what happened? How had she gone from terror to ... this was probably the best she'd felt in a long time. She stood up. Dusted off her skirt. Flushed the toilet in case anyone was listening, then went through the motions of washing her hands.

As she did, she caught a glimpse of her watch.

Seven minutes.

She had looked at the time right before entering the bathroom. Whatever happened, it lasted seven minutes.

And she couldn't remember a thing.

In spite of the flush - or maybe because of it - she looked better than she had in months. Her eyes were bright, shining, but not with tears. There was even an involuntary smile curling her lips. Her heart was beating strongly, not erratically, not too fast. She felt relaxed but energized and ... satisfied?

She didn't want anyone to come looking for her. She was supposed to be starting the baseline blood draw shortly.

The towels on the counter were folded up in neat little triangles, and she felt bad about disturbing them to dry off her hands. As much as the amnesia bothered her, she couldn't say anything to anyone. She couldn't risk them pulling her out of the experiment. It had to be something connected to him, to Mr. Klim.

"Sigma. Pretty girl like you can definitely call me 'Sigma'."

That wasn't what he said. Did she - was she - had she fantasized about him? Was that what this was? She ... well, she would be lying to herself if she denied that she found him attractive. The hair that she suspected was soft and silky to the touch, his sharp, blue-grey eyes, his strong chin, the muscles that his tight shirt hadn't disguised at all, his fingers - she had surreptitiously taken it all in while everyone did their introductions. Not that ... she had too much baggage to be ... it was silly to even be thinking about it. Maybe if they had met in another time, in another place.

Like something rising to the surface of a lake, a feeling broke free from the back of her mind and tried to emerge.

But she blinked and it was gone.

She glanced at her reflection one last time. They had to be wondering where she was. With a deep breath and a resolute nod, she turned to the door.