Story [Star Trek Into Darkness] The Scars On Our Hearts (John Harrison/OFC) - Completed 26 July!

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Dantana Skywalker, May 29, 2013.

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  1. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    The bunny is making me do it! I don't know how often I'll update this, but I'm hoping it won't be a long, drawn-out process.

    And, I should point out, THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR "STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS"!

    ----------------------------------------

    Title: The Scars On Our Hearts
    Author: Dantana Skywalker
    Timeframe: Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness
    Characters: John Harrison, original female character, Admiral Marcus, Jim Kirk, Spock
    Genre: angst, romance
    Summary: When disaster strikes, a young Starfleet operative finds that the man she loved never even existed.
    Notes: IDK where this came from. I only own Anthea Mackintosh and her family.



    --Prologue--


    Starfleet Headquarters
    San Francisco, CA
    2260.10

    The rechristening had gone well, Jim Kirk thought, as the crowd began to disperse. He waved at his crew and grinned, stepping off the podium to join them.

    "Captain Kirk?"

    Jim turned, eyeing the woman who had approached. She wore a dark grey suit with a Starfleet insignia pinned to it, indicating she was an employee, but not part of fleet operations. The accent said she was from somewhere in the British Isles. Her hair was medium brown and sleek, falling in layers to her shoulders. Her eyes were grey, set in a pretty but gaunt and tired face. She was too young to look that weary.

    "Yes?"

    "I . . ." She swallowed and tears welled in her eyes. "I wanted to say that I'm so, so sorry for . . . everything. I had no idea-"

    He realised that she'd set a baby-carrier pod by her feet; the infant in it had black hair and blue, blue eyes. Even though the child couldn't have been more than two months old, the intelligence in those wide-set eyes couldn't be mistaken.

    He looked back up to her in alarm. "That isn't-"

    She smiled, a little tremulously. "I know your reputation, Captain Kirk, but no, I'm not here on a bid for child support or . . . anything like that."

    "What are you here for, Miss . . .?"

    "Missus, actually," she corrected softly. "My name is Anthea Harrison."

    Kirk's blue eyes suddenly got big as dinner plates. "Harrison?" he repeated in disbelief. "You mean, you're-"

    "Yes," she said, and made a shushing motion with her hand. "Yes, I'm- I suppose I'm still married to him. That is, if . . ."

    He heaved a huge sigh. "I think we need to have a very long talk."

    -----

    Kirk had an office in the big building behind them, and he summoned Spock, McCoy, and Uhura to join him and his, er, guest there. He watched her cautiously, as they all found seating, but Anthea was obviously unarmed, and most of her attention was on the baby she had with her.

    He found himself fixated on that baby, even as he said, "Guys, this is a really weird situation, but . . ."

    "Captain, have you been approached about paternity?" Spock asked.

    A glance at his first officer told him that the Vulcan was, in a rare moment, making a joke. "Thanks, Spock," Kirk said wryly. "But no. This is . . . Well, why don't you introduce yourself?"

    Anthea folded her hands in her lap. "Um. I'm a- or, I was, an archives specialist in London. I know that you're aware the London archives were largely a cover for the weapons research department there. Section 31. I was mostly there to provide employees for the archives, but I also acted as an assistant to some of the agents working in the weapons department. Technically speaking, I was an operative, though I've never done field work."

    Spock narrowed his eyes at her. "And you managed to escape the destruction. How?"

    "I was on holiday," she said with a shrug. "Visiting my mum in Edinburgh. That's probably why he chose then, now that I think about it. I didn't have any knowledge that-"

    She let out a long, low sigh. "My name is Anthea Harrison. My husband- I thought his name was John, but I suppose it isn't. I didn't know 'til after everything he did that his name is really Khan."

    She looked at every face in turn, then said, "I suppose I should start at the beginning, and the day I met John Harrison."




    To be continued . . .
    Last edited by Dantana Skywalker, Jul 26, 2013
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  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Ahhhh! I love it already :D

    Khan with a wife and baby! I can't wait to read more :D And I did enjoy the Kirk as the father joke :p Update soon!
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  3. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks! I figured I'd hit the ground running with this one.
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  4. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter One--

    London
    2258.90

    "This is not what I joined Starfleet for."

    "What was that, Thee?"

    Anthea Mackintosh turned in her chair and frowned at her best friend and co-worker, Lindy. "This. This is not what I joined Starfleet for!"

    "You didn't join for the oh-so-glamourous opportunity to pretend we're archivists?" Lindy retorted with feigned shock. "I had no idea!"

    Anthea snorted a laugh. "Seriously, though, I didn't spend three years at the academy to man a desk like this."

    "Someone's got to do it, and if you think about it, we're in the position to know just about everything." Lindy leaned back in her seat and took a sip from her coffee mug. "Word is that Marcus is visiting today."

    Mentally groaning, Anthea shook her head. She didn't care for the head of Starfleet. There was just something off about the bloke. Most of the higher-ups were egotistical, but something about Admiral Marcus seemed oily.

    "Also," Lindy continued, "there's a new name on the high-clearance list. Commander John Harrison. You hear of him?"

    "No, but that means very little." Anthea, bored and curious, pulled up the dossier on this Commander Harrison. She flinched a little when his image came up; even in two-dimensions, the man had a presence, didn't he?

    "That face just screams 'I'm a spy'," Lindy whispered. "I think he'll fit in perfectly 'round here."

    Anthea skimmed the file, then closed it. She had the clearance for all but the highest level of security, since she frequently had to run errands all over the complex. Still, she didn't want to be flagged for spending too much time in anyone's file.

    It was after lunch when Admiral Marcus finally made his appearance, followed by his newest acquisition.

    "He's a bit funny-looking, isn't he?" Lindy nudged Anthea in the side with her elbow as she whispered.

    Anthea followed her friend's gaze to the new commander, standing over with Admiral Marcus, dressed in head-to-toe black. She didn't think Commander Harrison was "funny-looking". True, his light eyes were narrow and wide-set, but so were lots of peoples', especially with all the aliens running around. He wore his black hair swept back from his angular face, showing off high cheekbones.

    "You're staring," Lindy hissed in her ear.

    Jerking her gaze back to her workstation, Anthea blushed.

    As the men approached, snatches of Admiral Marcus's words reached the pair at the main archive desk.

    "-named for the USS Kelvin, which was destroyed by Romulans back in 2233, you remember."

    "Yes, I do recall that."

    Good heavens, the man's voice was deep. It was surprising to hear.

    The admiral's gaze swept across the room, passed over Anthea, then came back and stopped. "You. Name?"

    She snapped to attention. "Anthea Mackintosh, sir."

    "And what do you do here?"

    "I'm an archives specialist. I assist visitors with the-"

    "Not anymore. You're gonna be Commander Harrison's assistant." Marcus stepped away from the desk, obviously expecting her to follow though he issued no command to that effect.

    Anthea gulped and quickly gathered her things, scurrying after the two men as quickly as she could manage in her heeled boots. She caught up with them at the lift and got on just before the doors closed.

    Admiral Marcus barely noticed her, but the commander immediately gave her the once-over. This close, she could see his eyes were not the blue she'd assumed from across the room, but a pale grey-green with just hints of azure.

    She realised she was staring again when one corner of his full mouth quirked up. Anthea quickly looked down at the PADD in her hands. She cleared her throat.

    "Admiral, sir, am I to understand that I will not be a general assistant to the others, from this point?"

    "Right. I'll find someone to replace you at the archive. From now on, you report only to Commander Harrison. Your security clearances will be adjusted accordingly."

    "Yes, sir."

    The admiral gave Harrison a tour of the facility, with Anthea following and taking notes when requested. She didn't mind the change of role; it was bound to be more interesting than helping people who wandered into the pretend archive. All employees of the archive knew what its true nature was, to prevent some oblivious non-agent from stumbling into anything classified. Still, her induction into Section 31 had made her expect more than the role of glorified secretary.

    Finally, they ended the tour at a recently-renovated section of the facility. The door only had a number, no other labels. The admiral explained that the door opened via retinal scan only. Marcus did something with his own PADD, and then let them into the office.

    At first, that's all it seemed to be. There was a desk with a computer station, and two chairs opposite. Behind the desk was another door, this one unmarked. Without a word, Marcus led them through the second door.

    The office here was much larger, though "office" didn't seem to be the right word. True, it had a desk and a fancier computer system. But there, all resemblance to "office" ended. One wall was covered floor-to-ceiling with cabinets, a second with a long counter and various equipment Anthea couldn't begin to identify. The rest of the room was filled with . . . things. Tables, chairs, more machines.

    "If anything here doesn't suit your needs, and you need to upgrade, go for it," Marcus was saying to Harrison. "You also have access to the rest of the facility and its staff, and you'll oversee a private staff for everything we discussed. If there's anything you're not sure how to find, I'm sure Agent . . ."

    "Mackintosh, sir."

    "Agent Mackintosh will be able to help you. I'll check in frequently." The admiral's gaze went hard, his voice from jovial to icy. "And while I expect you'll need to perform recon trips, I need to be informed."

    "Yes, I am quite aware, Admiral." Harrison's voice was equally chilled, face expressionless. "Thank you. I am sure that if I have further questions, I will let you know."

    The men stared at each other for a long, tense moment, then the admiral stalked out.

    Anthea blinked. "Well. That was . . ."

    "Forget about it. The admiral and I don't see eye-to-eye on a few things, is all." The commander looked her way. "We have not been properly introduced. I am John Harrison."

    She offered her hand. "Anthea Mackintosh. Lovely to meet you."

    He shook her hand. His skin was warm, grip solid but not too firm. "To use a very antiquated phrase, what is a girl like you doing in a place like this?"

    Anthea wandered over to the nearest piece of lab equipment and poked a finger at it. "I was recruited while in the academy. Amongst the reasons cited were an 'aptitude for understanding when the ends justify the means outside of Starfleet regulations', and a 'penchant for thinking outside the box in problem solving'."

    "Both of which will serve well here. For now, I need to get acquainted with my laboratory. And you needn't feign interest in the synchronic metre, Agent Mackintosh."

    She had to smile at that. "Isn't that for transporters?"

    "Yes. One of the many projects I have been . . . requested to develop, is a portable transwarp device."

    "So you're an engineer."

    His face was unreadable. "Of sorts. You should probably get yourself settled in the outer office, Agent Mackintosh. We shall likely be here for some time."

    "Anthea," she told him. "Call me Anthea."

    Harrison's expression didn't change, but there was a bit more warmth in his voice. "Anthea, then."

    As she went to get her new desk organised, she tried not to think about how good her name sounded coming from his lips.
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  5. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Very nice! It's good to learn a little more about Anthea. I can't wait to see her get closer to Harrison. I'm very curious about your take on him!
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  6. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Some very interesting parts about Anthea and Harrison. :D
  7. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Well, he's not like Ricardo Montalban's character. Ugh. I watched that episode and "Wrath Of Khan" for some background trivia, and seriously, he isn't smart or better or anything, he's just a bully.

    Thanks!
  8. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    Oh, but I like this. I wanted Harrison fic after the movie, and this is looking to fill that void quite nicely. =D=

    I especially liked Kirk and then Spock thinking the child was his. Oh Kirk . . . :p [face_laugh]
  9. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks! But really, why else would a pretty woman approach Kirk with a baby? [face_laugh]
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  10. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Two--

    Anthea was not a technical whiz. Honestly, she was good with knowing how to operate a computer and how to pilot a ship. Anything beyond that, like developing all of the above, she left to the experts.

    Of which Commander John Harrison was most definitely one.

    Still, she noticed every once in a while that he seemed to not know what some things were, or when certain events occurred. Those happened less and less as the weeks went on, and eventually, she forgot about the first few incidents.

    While the projects he was working on were rather over her head, the job was much, much more interesting than anything she'd previously done. She main duties were keeping him organised--and occasionally, reminding him to eat--and taking or returning messages when he was eyeballs-deep in some weapon design or other.

    She had no problem with what Section 31 did. When the Romulans had attacked earlier in the year, it became apparent that they really needed better ways to defend themselves. Starfleet was for exploration, true, but there were unknown dangers out there, and they needed to be prepared.

    Especially if the Klingons made any sort of move.

    "So what does this one do?" she asked Harrison, when she poked her head in to check if he was still breathing. He hadn't emerged from the lab in several hours, and she hadn't had anything to do. Curiosity, and a need to hear him say something, anything--which she insisted to herself meant absolutely nothing--had her sticking her nose in even though he'd asked not to be disturbed.

    "Heat-based matter disruptor, probably in cannon form. I haven't completely decided yet. Needs to be large to handle enough power to take out a Bird of Prey, but it would be nice to have it sized for use as a soldier armament."

    She arched a brow. "Isn't that overkill?"

    He smiled, though he didn't look up. "There is no such thing around here as 'overkill'. Everything tells me that Klingons are formidable and not easily defeated. I intend to not only even the odds, but tip them in our favour."

    "Sound reasoning. Now, you do realise that you've been in here seven hours without a break? Have you eaten at all today?"

    John closed his eyes for a moment. "Have I? I vaguely recall breakfast. You should go home, if it's that late."

    "And leave you to keep at this all night? I'm supposed to take care of you, Commander, and letting you starve while you tinker with things that go boom is not one of my duties. C'mon. Let's go for dinner, and then I'll leave you to your toys."

    He raised those pale eyes to her, amusement clearly written in them although he didn't smile this time. "I will agree to your terms."

    "Good. There's a fantastic Chinese takeaway two blocks from here that's open twenty-four/seven."


    -----


    John ordered dim sum and sweet and sour chicken, while Anthea got General Tso's chicken. They split noodles between them.

    "Isn't that spicy?" he inquired.

    "Sometimes I like a little danger," she said with a laugh. "This place has the best I've had, so I always get it here, and other things elsewhere."

    "Mm." He took a sip of his water, but didn't comment. Still, he studied her with those disconcerting eyes.

    Anthea had to look away. She turned her gaze to the holographic display under the surface of the table. "Hmm. I was born in 2230, so . . . my Chinese astrological sign is the Horse. What's yours?"

    "The Year of the Dog," he said, without looking at the display.

    "Oh," she said in surprise. "That's funny. According to this, that's the sign most compatible with mine! So you were born in 2222? Nice even number, there. Makes you eight years older than me."

    He made another non-committal noise. He wasn't much of one for small-talk, so Anthea entertained herself with the tabletop vidscreen turned to some celebrity gossip channel. Their food was out quickly. Anthea requested a fork.

    John pause with the chopstick already in his fingers, and raised one dark brow. "Are you unable to use chopsticks, or unwilling?"

    "Little of both. I'm clumsy. Harder to send food flying at others with a fork. It's so useful, with its stabby tines."

    She looked up and found him grinning. "What?"

    "Stabby tines."

    "Oh, hush, Mr. Perfect." She stuck her tongue out at him.

    He found her teasing enchanting. Most he saw on a day-to-day basis were very formal and distant with him, perhaps sensing some innate danger to John Harrison. But not Anthea. If she felt threatened by him, she never gave a sign of it. She made him feel more human than he had in quite a while.

    "Tell me something," she said suddenly.

    "What would you like to know?"

    "Do you actually like . . . the work we do? It's obvious you're really smart, so I can't help thinking there are more . . . constructive things you could be doing."

    John twirled some lo-mein on his chopsticks. "I do not . . . dislike it. I enjoy designing things. There are, however, times I would prefer to design things to create rather than destroy. But I do not, at present, have a choice in the matter."

    "Yeah, Marcus is kind of obsessed." She snagged one of the pot stickers he'd ordered. "What'd you do to get stuck in the basement, anyway?"

    "What did you do?" he retorted.

    "Wrong place, wrong time. Not that I regret it." She quickly looked away.

    "Wrong place, wrong time," he repeated softly. "Yes, much the same for me."

    Anthea cleared her throat. "You speak so formally. What's up with that?"

    "It is merely who I am."

    "Yeah, I get that. It's just . . . we've worked together for nearly four months now, and I still know so little about you. Like . . . hobbies. D'you even have hobbies? All you ever talk about is work."

    He took a sip of his Andorian wine, which was dark blue in colour and very dry. "I read quite a bit. Anything I can get my hands on, really, though I do enjoy twentieth-century classics. What about you, Anthea?"

    "I read. I spend too much time watching 'As The Universe Turns', I'll admit. It's entirely stupid, but sometimes, I just want to veg and watch the antics of people with petty problems worse than my own."

    John snorted a laugh. "I remember watching something, when I was very small, called 'As The World Turns'. I wonder if your show is a modern adaptation."

    "Quite possibly, though I can't say I've heard of that one. Must've gone off the screen before I was born."

    "Yes, I believe it did."

    They finished their meal, paid up, and paused outside on the sidewalk.

    "Well, I best be off," she said. "It's late, and while you don't seem to need sleep, I, unfortunately, do."

    His eyes met hers and she felt it through every inch of skin. It unsettled her how attracted she was to him.

    "Thank you for the company, Anthea. I'll see you in the morning."

    She stood for a moment by the door, watching him walk back towards the archive building, and felt strangely bereft.


    -----


    Work the next morning felt different, but Anthea couldn't put a name to it. She hadn't slept well, haunted by the image of John's- Commander Harrison's face as they stood there, under the neon sign of the restaurant. Something had changed when they'd so innocently gone to dinner, some subtle little shift sideways that skewed her whole world view just a few degrees.

    Lindy was late, so she didn't get to catch up with her friend before reporting to Commander Harrison. Anthea had to remind herself to think of him by his rank. It was a bad idea to entertain the ideas that had kept her up all night.

    She wasn't the least bit surprised to find him already there and hard at work. Stupidly, she found herself brushing at an imaginary wrinkle on her knee-length grey skirt.

    "Morning," she caroled as she handed him his coffee. "Working on that bloody big ship again, I see."

    "Mm. No."

    Anthea rolled her eyes. Sometimes he was such a neanderthal, communicating in grunts. Nice backside, though.

    Catching herself at the thought, she blushed.

    "Take the shoes off."

    "Pardon?" Anthea glanced down at her heels.

    John looked up from the paper draft he was sketching on. Such an odd man, preferring design methods that were centuries outdated. "The shoes. The click is distracting, and they obviously pain you. Take them off."

    Smiling a little, she stepped out of the shoes and wriggled her toes. It was a relief to be free of the things.

    "They'll have to go back on if I leave the office," she told him. "Marcus is here today and he's a stickler for protocol."

    "Not all protocol," he replied. He turned back to his work, making markings with the pencil that she didn't understand.

    Anthea padded over in her stockinged feet and bent to study the drafting. "What is this? Some sort of torpedo?"

    "Precisely."

    "Bit bigger than the normal ones," she commented. "These are, what, almost three metres? What's it for, more fuel for a longer range?"

    "Yes. They need the extra room for the more advanced payload, and the shielding we're designing." He glanced up, looking amused. "More than a pretty face, I see."

    A bit flustered, she brushed at her hair, tucking it behind her ear. "I'm not Dr. Carol Marcus, but I know a thing or two."

    He stepped aside, motioned to the drawing. "What do you think of the design? I'm afraid aesthetics are not my forte."

    She moved in closer. "Well, as they're in space, friction and resistance aren't much of a problem, but if you wanted to make them useful for atmospheric use, I'd angle the nose a bit more here, to reduce drag."

    John shifted to stand behind her, and leaned in, pressing close, to make a mark with the pencil. "Yes, I agree."

    At some point, she'd ceased breathing. He noted her caught breath with amusement, and reached to sweep the hair off her neck.

    "You are . . . very helpful, Thea," he murmured.

    She swallowed hard. "Oh, you know me," she laughed weakly. "I live to serve."

    "Do you?" His breath was hot on her neck.

    A shiver rocked her, completely undisguiseable, and he gave a low chuckle, one hand pressing flat across her upper abdomen to draw her back against him.

    "Commander," she breathed. "This isn't appropriate."

    "John," he corrected her. "And is anything we're doing here appropriate, Thea?"

    His lips brushed her ear. Anthea shuddered and closed her eyes, tipping her head as his mouth slid down the side of her neck.

    "You enchant me," he whispered.

    He turned her in his arms and boosted her up on the edge of the desk. He had great strength, she could tell from how effortlessly he'd lifted her, but his touch was gentle when he cupped her face in his hands and kissed her. Anthea sighed, lips parting, and the kiss went from tender to demanding and John hauled her against him.

    She didn't mind in the slightest. She hadn't been properly kissed in a good, long while. Anthea slid her hands up his chest and curled them around the back of his neck.

    Alarm bells were going off in the back of her head, but she ignored them and threw herself into the heady sensation of his mouth on hers. This was a fantastically bad idea, but realistically, she knew they'd been headed this way since they'd met, since that moment in the turbo lift that first day.

    He dragged his mouth away, looking thoroughly rattled. She wondered if she looked as shaken, because she felt like she'd been in an earthquake.

    "Anthea," he began.

    "Don't ruin it," she breathed. She licked her swollen lips and out of reflex, glanced at her wrist chrono. "We can discuss it later. If I'm not mistaken, you've a meeting with Marcus in fifteen."

    John leaned his forehead against hers. "Later," he promised.

    She hopped off the desk and straightened her skirt. Then she slipped her feet back into her heels. Anthea cleared her throat.

    "Your meeting with Marcus is scheduled for 800 hours, and then you've a 900 inspection scheduled on the new warp prototype over in Terminal B. Then you're free until 1400-"

    He cut her off with another kiss, this one swifter. "I'm aware of my schedule, Thea. We shall discuss this at lunch."

    "Right."

    She gave a sharp nod, still unsteady on her feet.

    "And Thea?"

    "Yes, Commander?"

    "Might want to fix your hair before Marcus sees you."

    She made a rude gesture and fled.
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  11. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    So now Anthea and Harrison's romance begins to blossom. [face_love]
  12. Nightvision91 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2013
    star 1
    You capture Khan brilliantly! Also will be interesting to see how this romance works out.
  13. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Yep!

    Thanks. :D I'm interested, too. They've already changed things on me twice, so it's been . . . interesting. Writing the parts around the London explosion et al have been challenging in particular.
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  14. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I really wasn't expecting to update this often.

    If anyone's interested, I have a fanmix I've made for this 'fic. PM me for details.

    -----------------------------------------

    --Chapter Three--

    It took every ounce of her willpower to appear calm and collected during the meeting with the admiral. She was all-too-aware of John, even though she had put the desk between them. It was difficult to concentrate on the discussion between the two men, though their obvious tension did keep her mind from drifting too far afield.

    Marcus was pleased with the design of the torpedo. "Get it put into production, as many as our guys can produce. And get back to the Vengeance, I want it ready by the beginning of the year."

    John's grey eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "Yes, Admiral."

    Marcus took his leave, without even looking at Anthea.

    "That man is so irritating," she said, after he'd gone. "So imperious. And with obviously no clue what it takes to do what he wants."

    "The men in command rarely do." He rolled up the torpedo plans and stuffed them in a plastic tube. Sighing, he braced his hands on the desk's gleaming surface. Though he was normally rock-steady, his hands trembled just a bit.

    "You can kill him later," she joked. "Experimental warp core inspection in Terminal B."

    "Yes, yes. Thank you."

    She followed him across the complex to Terminal B, where a team of engineers were building a core to be put into the USS Vengeance. Anthea didn't know how they'd test it here, or how they knew that it wouldn't blow the ship to itty bits the first time they brought it online. That was why she was an administrative assistant, and John was the brains.

    The inspection didn't take long. Mostly, he checked to see that they were on-schedule with the build.

    "How long did you say I'm free 'til?" he asked, as they walked back to his office.

    "1400."

    "Cancel it. I want the rest of the day free. If I do not have a break, I will kill something."

    Anthea made a few notes on her PADD, pushed a notice through to the relevant parties. "Done. What now?"

    "Now, we get out of here."

    -----

    He donned his long, dark coat and led Anthea to a building not far from the archive. It was older, and the flats inside were small and rather spare. His was no different; the walls were pale grey, the carpet a shade darker. The windows didn't open and the view was dismal.

    "This is where you live?" she asked. "Good heavens, no wonder you're at work all the time. I would be, too, if I had to live here."

    "It is what Starfleet pays for. I do nothing here more than sleep."

    "Right. This place makes me depressed. We're going somewhere else."

    He arched a brow. "Where? We require privacy. This is suitable."

    Anthea scoffed. "Hardly. C'mon. My place. Now."

    Her own home was on the other side of the city, located in a centuries-old section of brownstones and walk-up flats. Anthea owned an end unit with a view of a little park. It was three floors, narrow, with a few modern conveniences installed; but for the most part, it was as originally built in the 1800s.

    "This . . . is charming," John said, as she led him into the foyer. He ran a hand over the red paint on the front door. "Actual doors. Wood flooring. No turbolift?"

    "Nope. I get around the old-fashioned way. C'mon, I'll give you a tour."

    The first floor consisted of a parlour, a teensy guest bath under the stairs, the dining room, and a kitchen with an attached conservatory that extended into the small back garden. On the second floor, another bath, her study, and two small guest bedrooms. The top floor, not counting the little attic, was the master bedroom and bath, and a balconied terrace that offered a view of the London skyline.

    The difference between their residences seemed a galaxy apart.

    "This is a wonderful retreat," he commented, as they settled in the study.

    "Thanks. It's a bit to keep up, since it's so old, but I enjoy it." She sat sideways on the sofa, facing him. "So . . ."

    "So." His light eyes searched her face. "I hope you don't think I was out of line this morning. That was something I have resisted for some time."

    "Was it? I know that, technically speaking, workplace romance is forbidden by Starfleet protocol, especially since you're my supervisor, but . . ."

    John made a small noise of amusement. "Your employment hardly hinges on me. As two consenting adults, I hardly think it anyone's business but our own what we do."

    She licked her lips. "So you . . . have intentions of pursuing . . . this?"

    "I have thought of little else since last night, Anthea."

    She had to smile. "I thought it was just me."

    "No. It is not just you. I admire you a great deal." He shifted on the sofa and caught her hands, pulled her effortless into his lap. "You are beautiful, Thea, not just in body but in mind."

    "No need for flattery," she whispered.

    "Mm. You're right."

    He lowered his mouth to hers.

    -----

    After lunch, in the spirit of taking the rest of the day to goof off, Anthea talked John into going for a ride on the London Eye, which had been built in 1999 and was, miraculously, still standing and operational. He'd confessed he had never been on it before, so she dragged him into one of the large cars and they rode to the top.

    "Seems a bit silly, I know, since there are such larger wheels around the world, but I've always been fond of this one. It's the oldest standing Ferris wheel in the world, you know."

    "I had not paid any attention," he told her. Gesturing out the glass before them, he said, "You can see where the archive is from here."

    "Hey, you can! Good eye."

    Towards evening, she observed, "You don't get out much."

    "My work is my life, unfortunately."

    "Let's go out and do something, then."

    "Do what?"

    "I dunno. Dancing. Dinner. Something."

    He eyed her skeptically. "I am not one for dancing."

    "Bet I can make you."

    John gave her a faint smile. "You're going to hound me until I accept, are you not?"

    "You are smart."

    -----

    For their first official date, Anthea wore a dark-blue-and-gold jacquard top, paired with a gold-sequined miniskirt that Lindy had insisted she buy, one she'd never worn. It showed off a lot more leg than she was used to.

    When John came to pick her up, he'd changed into black trousers--big surprise--and a collarless grey shirt that shimmered slightly in the light.

    "Is everything in your wardrobe shades of black and grey?" she asked.

    "For the present."

    "Remind me to buy you something really bright for your birthday."

    "As long as it isn't eye-hurting yellow like that woman over there is wearing."

    Anthea looked over and winced. Eye-hurting was right.

    They went to dinner, but she didn't get him talked into dancing. When he dropped her off at her brownstone, she said, "One of these days, Commander, I'm going to get you on the dance floor."

    "You can try," he purred.

    "I'll give it my best. Sure I can't invite you in for coffee?"

    "Another time," he promised. "I have to get back and catch up a bit, since I took today off."

    "Okay." She rocked up on her toes and kissed him. "See you tomorrow, then."

    "Good night, Thea."
    RX_Sith and Nightvision91 like this.
  15. Nightvision91 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2013
    star 1
    Thea is walking a fine tight rope with the Admiral and John. Though I liked to read she had a normal house. Also like seeing her relationship with John grow.
  16. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    She's probably later going to remember that joke and regret it. "'You can kill him later'? What was I thinking?!"
  17. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    A very beautiful setting of their first date in London and now they begin to further explore their romantic entanglements. :D
  18. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thank you! Funny you should use "entanglements", 'cause he uses that word later in the story in reference to their relationship.
  19. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Four--

    She had breakfast with Lindy the next morning, catching up with her friend over a pastry and a soothing tea.

    "Haven't seen much of you lately," Lin commented.

    "Busy, busy, busy," Anthea told her. "And the hours I've been having to keep are insane. I'll be glad when this current project is over."

    "What is it you're working on?"

    She shook her head. "Can't really talk about it."

    "Oh, c'mon, Thee, we're both in the know."

    "Not on this," she sighed. "One of these days, we'll have a nice, long chat. Maybe a girls' day. I promise."

    "You'd better. I get the feeling you're keeping a lot from me."

    Anthea tried to hide a grin, and failed.

    "Ooh, what is it?"

    "Not much. Just . . . started seeing someone. Don't want to jinx it, though. I'll tell you when I can." She glance at her wrist. "Oh, bollocks, gotta go. Stupid early mornings. And my supervisor is a real slave driver."

    "Go, go. Don't wanna piss him off!"

    Anthea snagged John his morning coffee on the way to the archive. She greeted the security guards, did the requisite scan, and filed into the lift with several others. She was the only one who stayed all the way to the very bottom.

    "You should be versed in hand to hand combat," John told her, without preamble, when she walked in. He accepted the coffee she handed him, but didn't drink. Instead, he set the mug aside.

    Anthea raised a brow. "Morning to you, too, Commander. You know, I've had the basic training at the academy."

    His smile was just this side of condescending. "I'm sure."

    "As I'm not a field operative, it's perfectly acceptable!"

    John's expression sobered. "There may come a time when you need it. If you'd like, I can train you."

    Her grey eyes raked over him. "I'm sure you're more than capable. But I know your ulterior motive."

    "Do you?" It was really more of a statement than a question.

    "Mmm. You just want to get sweaty and wrestle with me."

    He barked a surprised laugh. She did so enjoy getting a reaction out of him and breaking through that stoic exterior. "Were you not the one who, only yesterday, scolded me for inappropriate advances?"

    Anthea ran a finger down his chest. "As I recall . . . I didn't protest long."

    He snaked his arms around her, pulling her lithe form against him. "That, my dear, is because resistance is futile."

    "I noticed," Anthea breathed. "Kiss me."

    "With pleasure."

    When they separated, it took her several moments to get her breath back and her thoughts settled.

    "What do you have in mind, exactly?" she rasped.

    "There is a gym not far from here. I am versed in . . . multiple forms of hand to hand combat. I can teach you moves best-suited to your personal style."

    Anthea shrugged. "Sure, why not?"

    ----------

    She'd been joking when she'd said he had an ulterior motive, but she knew he rarely did anything without a solid reason behind it. John Harrison was not a man prone to whims, which made her wonder what, precisely, he had in mind when it came to her, personally. She wasn't dumb enough to believe that he simply thought she was pretty. He was too . . . cold for that.

    That she didn't care probably said more about their relationship than anything else.

    He took her to a Starfleet-owned workout facility. It was the typical company design: lots of space, stark and sparse furnishings, the walls white and grey, the floor mats black. There were three locker rooms: one for men, one for the non-, multi-, or other-gendered, and the women's. There, she changed into a black tank, with the Starfleet logo on the left breast, and grey exercise pants, pulling her dark hair up in a ponytail. When he emerged from the locker rooms, in a similar outfit, she caught her breath.

    While he wasn't the tallest man she'd met, he was gracefully built; John was muscled in a way that spoke of strength that had no need for excess. Lean, but broad shouldered, solidly formed with no hint of the typical scientist's scrawniness.

    Anthea watched him run through some warm-up exercises, sweeping and controlled motions designed to loosen muscles and stimulate bloodflow. She recognised it as some ancient martial art, though she couldn't put a name to it.

    It was when he began sparring with one of the combat androids that she really saw why Marcus was so possessive of him. He was fast, and economical in his motions. His strength was evident when he, with one arm, punched the android, caught it around the neck, and drove it to the mat.

    "Wow. That's impressive," she told him when he'd finished sparring and the android returned to its dormant state. "Where did you learn all this?"

    John shrugged. He picked up a towel and wiped his face with it. "Here and there. I learned several forms of martial arts, and eventually adapted my own style. These days, it's so out of use that barely anyone even recognises the words 'tae kwon do'."

    "I see. So. Where do we start?"

    Three grueling hours later, Anthea wished she hadn't agreed to the training. She was sore from head to toe. Not only had John taught her various forms of holds, punches, and flips, he'd made her practise with a sandbag until her arms ached.

    "Stop wearing the heels," he advised her as they left. "They shorten your tendons and muscles in your legs and restrict your movement."

    "To work, or period?"

    His grey eyes swept over her long legs. "After work is fine."

    "Yes, boss." She winked and went into the womens' locker to shower.

    ----------

    The next two weeks were a blur of work, combat training, and illicit make-out sessions behind the closed doors of his office. While she was afraid of getting caught, Anthea hadn't been so happy in her life.

    "What's with you?" Lindy asked when they bumped into each other just outside security. "Is it this new guy? Come on, Thee, spill already!"

    "Can't yet, sorry! Soon, I swear!"

    While her friendship was floundering a little from her new hours and occupations, her personal life was flourishing. Granted, they were keeping it secret, but she found that a little thrilling. She hadn't taken a risk like this since she was a teenager, and for the first time in a while, she really felt alive.

    Two weeks into their relationship, Anthea invited John for dinner, ordering in Indian food. She surprised him with chicken and lamb kormas, and three varieties of naan, all set out on the rooftop terrace.

    "Is something wrong?" she asked nervously, when he just stared at the food. She was tempted to rub her sweaty palms on her skirt, but didn't want to mar the deep purple lace. "I thought we'd be adventurous tonight."

    "Nothing," he said, and his voice was just a little rough. "Nothing is wrong at all, Anthea. I am . . . reminded of something, is all. And this, if I am not mistaken, is coconut korma, which just happens to be my favourite dish in creation."

    "Really?" She grinned, pleased. "I had no idea."

    They ate outside, though it was heading into fall and the weather was cooling. After dinner, they took in the lights of the city and watched ships and shuttles go by overhead.

    She leaned her head back against his shoulder. As his arms came to enfold her, Anthea said, "You know, I've never really been off-planet. I've been to the orbital launch platform, but that's as far as I've been."

    "I've been to a few places, doing reconnaissance. The stars are beautiful. Seeing planets from space is astounding. I cannot stay as much for all of their peoples, though."

    "Klingons?" she whispered.

    John kissed her temple. "And Romulans."

    "It worries me that you go there," she confessed in a whisper. She twisted around and gazed up at him. "It's so dangerous."

    "You really do not need to worry. I am more than capable of ensuring my safety."

    "I know that, in my head. Doesn't stop me from worrying."

    "You worry about me," he repeated in a whisper.

    "Yes."

    "Anthea."

    This time, when he kissed her, it was with a possessive urgency that turned her to mush. Leaving the dishes where they were, he drew her back inside, through the double doors into her bedroom.

    She knew precisely where this was going, and anticipation had her heart pounding. She wanted him more than she'd wanted anything before, including going to the Starfleet academy.

    "John," she said against his mouth.

    "We can stop," he breathed.

    "Don't you dare."
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  20. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Now as their love deepens will they further succumb to their passions and become even bolder. ;)
  21. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Bolder as in more open and telling others? Probably not. Bolder as in doing it on the rooftop? I dunno, maybe. :p
  22. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    If anyone's wondering what Anthea looks like, this is her:
    [IMG]
    Last edited by Dantana Skywalker, Jun 5, 2013
  23. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Five--

    Way too early the next morning, Anthea stumbled into work, feeling like she'd been on a week-long bender. And she'd only had one glass of wine. Her brain was fuzzy and not even her coffee was really waking her up. Still, she was stupid with happiness.

    "You look like you had an eventful night!"

    She tried not to blush at Lindy's knowing look, but failed miserably. "Things went well. It was good. More than good. John spent the night, and . . ."

    "Waaaait a minute, there, Anthea. Back that transport up. John?!"

    Anthea bit her lip and grinned into her coffee cup. She hadn't meant to let his name slip, but she was so happy, she couldn't help it. "I s'pose, since I'm at work, it should be Commander Harrison."

    Lindy braced her elbows on her friend's desk and leaned forward. "But he's your boss!"

    "And we're assigned to a top-secret organisation designed to circumvent the Prime Directive."

    ". . . Good point. So, spill."

    "I shouldn't kiss and tell, but . . ." She let out an explosive sigh. "The man is a machine, Lin. And I don't mean that in a bad way."

    Lindy's brown eyes were huge with interest. "Wow."

    "It's like . . . Laser focus. Like I was the only thing in the universe." She fanned her face with a hand. "I'm getting worked up just remembering it. He's got the stamina of-"

    One of the higher-ups approached, and she broke off to greet him. Once the man was out of earshot again, she leaned in and whispered, "Four hours solid, Lin. I had to say when."

    "Get out! Really?"

    "So here I am, seven in the bloody morning, haven't had a wink of sleep, and I get to go pretend to be professional around the bloke that just shagged me into the next century."

    Lindy laughed. "I didn't see the appeal, but if he's that good . . . See if he has a brother, will you?"

    Grinning, Anthea shook her head and tossed off a cheerful "Later!" She had ten minutes to make it down ten floors and across the complex to John's workspace, and she had a feeling it was going to take all of them to get the blush out of her cheeks.

    John had left well before dawn, after they'd shared a nice and steamy shower, so Anthea expected he'd already be here. He always was. She drained her coffee as she reached the outer office, where her desk was, and set the ceramic cup down before depositing her business case in one of the drawers. The light was on in John's office, and she knocked briefly before letting herself in.

    He was dressed in his trademarked black, staring sightlessly down at the Vengeance plans, dark hair falling over his forehead and into his eyes.

    "Something the matter?" she inquired. "You look perturbed."

    "Thinking," was his terse reply.

    Not the welcome she'd imagined, but she already knew he had a tendency to run hot and cold. Business it was, then.

    "Don't let me interrupt, then. I'll be at my desk."

    As she turned away, his hand shot out and he tugged her back. Before she could react, he'd pulled her against him and crushed his mouth down on hers with a force that stole her breath.

    When they parted, she was dazed and gasping. He seemed as cool and collected as ever.

    "In case you think I don't appreciate last night," he murmured. "Which I very much do."

    She was grinning stupidly as she settled in at her desk to see to the day's schedule.

    ----------

    Anthea couldn't say that she'd ever found herself dopey for a man before. Then again, none of the men she'd been involved with in the past had been John Harrison.

    He spent the day tinkering on a very strange-looking cannon, likely the matter disruptor he'd mentioned weeks back. Had it really only been a few weeks since he'd first kissed her?

    She gave herself a shake and focused on the task at hand. "So this is that cannon you were talking about. Got a prototype together pretty fast."

    "I don't need as much sleep, so I have had plenty of time to put it together. Hand me that caliper, would you?"

    She plucked the tool from his toolbox and handed it over, their fingers brushing. It sent heat straight to her core, but he barely seemed to notice. It made her want to poke him, just to make him pay attention.

    "You're very good with your hands," she remarked.

    His blue-grey eyes met hers through the hair falling over his forehead, but he didn't speak.

    "With building things, I mean," she stammered, recalling all-too-clearly when he'd directed that exact look at her the night before. "That micro-welder? I'd melt my fingers off in ten seconds flat."

    "I need more solder. That role of very soft wire, there, by your hand. Cut off a bit about this long." He demonstrated with his free hand.

    Cutting bits of wire, that she could do. She snipped off a length and handed it to him. "Shouldn't you be wearing goggles?"

    "I'm not welding. This does not throw sparks."

    "Oh."

    He handed her a pair of very long tweezers. "I need you to use these and hold this circuit in place with them. This is a tight space and I can't manage these, the solder, and the heat implement at the same time."

    "Sure thing."

    Anthea had done the typical required hands-on things in school, like sewing, and the metals and wood crafting classes, but it had been quite a while since then, and the extent of her handiness ran to tightening the screws on her furniture and cabinets, and installing a new, idiot-proof light fixture in the downstairs bath a few weeks before.

    It was nice to be helpful, and she found watching him work fascinating. He was intent with his work on the weapon as he had been in her bed. He didn't fidget, and he was deliberate with everything he did.

    "How does this thing work?" she asked.

    John started pointing out various parts, explaining what they did and how it all worked together, and what still needed to be done. She managed to understand some of what he was saying, but really, she'd only asked to get him to talk. She could listen to him read the label of a cereal box, just to hear his voice.

    "You're not paying attention," he said, voice tinged with humour.

    "Sorry, bit distracted." She let her gaze linger on his mouth, to let him know exactly what she was thinking of. "And before I take you right here on this desk and ruin all your hard work, I think I'll go fetch us lunch, shall I?"

    "Seeing as I've put a lot of effort into this device," he said dryly, "I would appreciate that."

    ----------

    He glanced up from his terminal, and the adjustments and calculations he'd been working on, last minute changes to the torpedoes he'd developed, only to realise that it was well past the usual end of shift.

    He had no need for "normal" work hours, and in fact relished the chance to work alone after most everyone had gone home. The facility had staff and crew on-site twenty-four/seven, but the majority went home when evening fell. Thus, he was left alone for the most part, alone with his thoughts, his work, and his plans.

    Anthea hadn't gone home, he saw. She'd fallen asleep on the sofa he'd had put in early on, anticipating the need for short breaks while working. She had her cheek pillowed on one hand, her dark hair trailing over the arm of the couch, a few locks covering her face.

    He save his work and rose from his desk, crossing over to her. He'd forgotten that she needed more sleep than he did, and had obviously worn her out with his attentions. Not once, though, had she mentioned being tired or needing to go home. He wondered how long she'd been asleep here, while he was immersed in work.

    That he was interested in her, that he was feeling . . . tender towards her, was odd. He wasn't the kind for attachments, not like this. But he was, admittedly, lonely, and it was nice to be wanted by a beautiful woman. And she would be so very useful to him. He only felt a tiny twinge of guilt at the thought.

    Gently, he laid a hand on her shoulder. "Thea."

    She blinked, grey eyes bleary from sleep. "Mmm?"

    "Time to go home," he whispered.

    Anthea sat up and gave a jaw-popping yawn. "Time is it?" she mumbled.

    "2200."

    She was too tired to even react much, other than a "Hell."

    "I'll see you home," he said, and got his coat.

    They took a cab across town. Once he had her door locked, he lifted her in his arms and carried her up the stairs. She tottered across the room and fell face-down on the still-unmade bed.

    "Would you like me to stay?" he asked.

    "Mrmm?"

    Deciding it wasn't an objection, per se, he shed his boots and stretched out beside her.

    It was nice, he thought, as she snuggled against him, to not be alone.

    ----------

    Anthea woke slowly, her cheek pillowed on something harder than her usual faux-down. It took her a moment or two to realise that she was in her bed, cradled in John's arms, her head on his chest.

    "Mm. John?"

    "Yes."

    "You bring me home?"

    He shifted so they were face to face. "I did. You were rather . . . drowsy."

    "Ah." She stretched a little, ran her hand over his chest, the cotton of his Starfleet-issue shirt soft under her fingers. "Thanks."

    "I could hardly send you off by yourself. You'd walk into the street and get run over, and then I'd need a new assistant."

    Anthea poked him hard in the stomach. "Nice. Is that all you want me for?"

    He grabbed her hand and kissed her palm. "Hardly," he murmured, his voice a deep rumble against her skin.

    Even though she was exhausted, her heart began to race.

    "You wanna . . .?" she asked in a whisper.

    John let go of her hand, his own sliding up her thigh. "Do you even need to ask?"

    "Do I?"

    In answer, he rolled her beneath him.
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  24. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    More romantic interludes for John and Anthea as they begin to become closer to each other in more ways than one. [face_love]
  25. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love your character Anthea and how she looks
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