Sigma & Diana: D plus 42h : 01m : 58s and counting

nc-17 | sexual content | referenced domestic violence

There was no set wake-up time. There wasn't much of a set anything, aside from the curfew and the blood samples. They could eat and exercise at their leisure, and even the tasks they were assigned could be carried out whenever they felt like it.

Sigma got up early because he was used to it. It was just after six in the morning and he imagined Carlos might be the only other one awake. Phi would sleep until noon if allowed. Akane was exhausted by last-minute preparations. With no alarms or requirements, the others would probably sleep for at least a couple more hours.

He grabbed clean clothes from his bag and made his way to the bathroom farthest from his room. Dcom had two, but only the one closest to him was handicapped accessible. He figured he should leave it free in case Q was also an early riser.

They had been in a rush after he awoke to get to Nevada, so in his haste to pack, he had forgotten basic toiletries. He had thrown possibly every pair of socks he owned into his bag but hadn't bothered to grab soap or shampoo. Akane assured him Dcom was supposed to have plenty, but when he examined the shower stall, it was empty. He dreaded the idea of having to borrow some from another participant.

Fortunately Akane had been correct - he found dozens of bottles in the cabinet under the sink. Sigma took what he needed into the shower, wincing slightly when the hot water hit his skin. His body was accustomed to Earth gravity, so moving naturally hadn't been much of a problem, but mentally, he wasn't used to the heaviness of the water. On the Moon, it was more of a caress.

As he massaged the shampoo into his hair, the smell hit him for the first time - eucalyptus mint. It has been decades, but he still remembered that scent. Waking up with his body wrapped around hers, his nose buried in her hair. Smelling it as he kissed her temple while making love in their bed. Being immersed in it as he bent forward while fucking her against the edge of the lab table.

It ... had to be a coincidence. It was a popular brand; he remembered Diana telling him that. He had never asked for much in terms of comfort, but an off-hand comment had led him to ask Akane if she could find some, even though the company was defunct by then. Just a bottle or two, he had requested.

She had done better than that, finding an abandoned warehouse and cleaning it out, sending two full pallets up on the next shipment. Diana had cried when she saw it. It was enough to last for years.

There were still full, unused bottles in storage in the Rhizome.

He hurriedly rinsed it off, rubbing his scalp so hard he wouldn't have been surprised if it was red from friction.


Diana tiptoed down the hall, not wanting to wake her fellow participants. She had seen Carlos head for the gym when she exited her room, but presumed everyone else was still asleep, except for whoever was using the east end bathroom. She hoped at least Q was; she was about to tie up the only bathroom he could use for at least half an hour.

She tried to be as eco-conscious as she could be, but showers were her weakness. She loved to stay under the spray until it started to go tepid.

The piece of luggage that had her hygiene supplies had gotten lost; the airline insisted it arrived with her, but she hadn't seen the bag on the carousel. Green with white flowers tended to stand out against the sea of black bags, so she was certain she hadn't overlooked it. Someone probably stole it, and she had tried to not see that as an omen.

She found a variety of supplies in the bathroom, including her absolute favorite brand. She was surprised to see it; it was only sold in salons and she always felt silly spending $30 on shampoo, but she had fallen in love with the scent during a haircut and had used it religiously ever since.

She didn't reach for it, though. There were bottles on the right that drew her attention. They were relatively plain, promising a "clean lemon" scent, and there was something oddly familiar about them. She flipped the top open and squeezed the bottle gently to smell it. It was somehow ... calm and reassuring. Maybe an aromatherapy thing.

Being in Dcom, she was probably the most relaxed she'd been in months, surrounded by strangers who knew nothing about her past. There was no pity, no judgment. No smug superiority that comes with the women who look at her and reassure themselves that they would never be so pathetic, so stupid. No fear that he could come around the corner at any moment and slam her head into the mirror or kick her huddled form until her ribs were broken. But in spite of the respite brought from the relative anonymity and isolation, she still carried some tension in her frame. As she began to lather her hair, she felt it slip away. The scent made her feel ... safe.

Among other things.

As she stuck her head under the spray, she put a hand between her legs, pressing hard, trying to dull the throbbing there.


He tried to get it over with quickly.

It felt wrong, jerking off in a shower stall only a few meters from where Diana was sleeping, remembering times when it had been her smaller, softer hand wrapped around him. But it was a myth that cold showers dampen sexual arousal and in spite of trying to think of horrifically unpleasant things, his mind always returned to her face.

They shared showers together on the Moon all the time. Being inside her was damn near impossible, given their height difference and the slippery surface, so often she'd stroke him until he came all over her stomach or the wall and he'd return the favor by dropping to his knees.

It was fucking torture being this close to her, knowing what she tasted like, knowing what kind of moans she made when he was inside her, knowing that she could come just from his fingers manipulating her nipples and his vulgar whispers in her ear. He was a stranger to her, and if he went to her room right now and took her in his arms, she'd slap him.

Sigma put his back against the shower wall, stroking himself harder and faster, even as he felt tears welling up in his eyes. How could he have ever thought he was ready for this? It had been years, decades, and he knew for certain that time did not heal all wounds. The forty-plus years of celibacy that followed her death would have occurred even if he had been surrounded by nubile women eager to jump his bones.

An image of her, fresh from the shower, her skin all pink and wet, popped into his head. Droplets of water dripping from her hair as she rode him.

If they failed -

No, he refused to consider it. They would succeed. They had to.


She didn't think she'd be able to reach orgasm.

Diana hadn't brought her ... personal massager, and her hand had never been enough. Maybe it was like how you couldn't tickle yourself, she had thought.

With her forehead against the tile, she rubbed herself desperately. Frustration was on the verge of overpowering arousal. She was about to give up when she experienced a phantom sensation of hands on her breasts. Large, strong hands.

Sigma's hands.

She gasped.

He ... he was absolutely the wrong man to be attracted to. Tall and handsome and obviously intelligent but ... strange, angry, and ... oh, hell. It was a fantasy. There was nothing wrong with imagining him here with her, pressing a thick erection into her back while he kissed her neck, slipping two fingers inside her.

Sigma would be gentle, holding her close when the waves started to pulse through her body. He'd tell her she was beautiful, and when her body went limp from the climax, he'd carry her to bed. He'd kiss her when he entered her, thrusting slowly until she was ready for more, then driving his hips against hers, eliciting cries of -

Her legs shook and the force of her orgasm nearly brought her to her knees. She gripped the shower railing and slapped a hand over her mouth to muffle her moan.

The water was cold, so she turned it off with trembling fingers.

As she did, she couldn't help thinking that had felt a lot more like a memory than a fantasy.


He pulled his shirt over his head and checked the stall once again to make sure any evidence of his release was washed down the drain. In spite of his orgasm, he was tense, uneasy.

He put the soap and shampoo back in the cabinet; tomorrow, he would have to use something else. The scent was so strong he could still smell it, even though he had rinsed his hair three times.

With most of the participants likely still asleep, it would be a good time to conduct another search. More surreptitiously, this time. He was too emotional before. He may have missed obvious hiding places.

He opened the door and saw Diana emerging from the other bathroom.


She was thankful that, if he were to notice her, if he were to comment on it, she could blame her pink cheeks on the hot water.

As it was, it didn't matter. He kept his gaze on the floor as he walked to his room, even when she greeted him with, "Good morning, Sigma."

When she passed by him, the scent of eucalyptus hit her. She paused, turned around.

He had stopped as well, his head partly turned towards her, his forehead wrinkled in apparent confusion.

"Lemon," he muttered.

"Yes, it's - I found it in the -"

Sigma walked off before she completed her sentence, slamming the door to his quarters behind him.

It felt like a rejection, and it bothered her more than it should.