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.

Moderators: Mira_Jade, NYCitygurl
  1. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    A bit behind. Just read chapter two.

    Is it bad that the first thing I want to comment on is the stabby tines? :p

    I love their kiss! And Anthea's attitude :D She's quite sassy--I like her :D Will we ever see Harrison's POV? I'm dying to know what he's thinking.
  2. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    If you read the subsequent chapters, you'll find out. :p

    I'm glad you like her. It's funny how this story came about. I dreamed most of it, about two days before I started posting. The whole thing, start to finish. There are a few details I've forgotten, but they don't matter. I know the story start to finish, and it's just poured out of me. I've written almost 40kb on it today alone. (I write in Notepad; I think the story is about 40k words now? I dunno.)
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  3. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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

    The next few weeks were insanely busy, and Anthea made three trips out to Jupiter with John to check on the construction of the Vengeance. At first, she was nervous about the journey, but it wasn't nearly as harrowing as she'd expected, and she rather enjoyed seeing the massive gas giant and its many moons.

    The size of the Vengeance was just as mind-boggling. Until this point, the USS Enterprise was the largest and most advanced ship in the fleet. But the USS Vengeance was so much bigger, it was only possible to view the whole from a distance. And that itself wasn't possible, given that it was being constructed inside a box.

    "And you designed it so one person can operate it?" she asked on the first trip out.

    "That is the plan, yes. All systems can operate from the captain's chair."

    "I don't know if that's impressive or scary," she admitted. "Little bit of both, I think."

    The same, she thought, went for her lover.

    "Tell me about her. The ship."

    "Dreadnought-class. Several times the size of the Enterprise, capable of firing its weapons at warp. Its systems are largely automated, and its shields are much more advanced than anything else in the fleet. And with the new core, it should be able to achieve warp 9."

    "And it's all your brain-child."

    "Yes," he said, and there was just a hint of pride in his voice.

    They toured the parts of the ship that had completed construction, though he estimated it would be nearly six months before she was complete.

    "This," he told Anthea, as they stood on the bridge, "is what Marcus wanted me for most of all."

    "I can see why we're building all the way out here. Be hard to explain this taking up half of Iowa."

    "She isn't quite that large, but yes. Marcus is fond of his secrecy." As always, his jaw clenched when he spoke of the admiral.

    She decided to change the subject. "So the Vengeance is going to be armed with those new torpedoes?"

    "That is the plan," he said with a small nod. "But it can also fire all the standard armaments, as well."

    "Backwards compatible is good."

    On the flight back to Earth, after the third trip, Anthea found herself adrift in thought. Being better prepared against threats like the Romulans and their massive, planet-destroying drill, or against the savage Klingons, was all well and good, but she began to wonder what effect this was going to have on Starfleet as a whole.

    The thought of war was nebulous at best, at least to her. But the more she saw of the weapons John designed, of the massive ship being built with the sole purpose of destruction, Anthea began to see war as a terrifying inevitability.

    "Is something wrong?" John asked her, when he noticed she was frowning off into space.

    "Just thinking about the future. I hope that ship never has to be used."

    He was quiet for several moments. "Sadly, my dear, I think the day it will be, is sooner rather than later. When, rather than if."

    "I know," she sighed, "and that's what scares me."

    ----------

    They took to spending some nights at his sparse little flat, merely because it was closer, and of late the pair had been working sixteen or more hours on various projects.

    "This place is so depressing. You need to move."

    "You brighten it," he remarked.

    "Do I?"

    In answer, he held up her red bra. She threw one of the pillows at him.

    He caught it, eyes narrowing dangerously. Then he gave her a slow, evil smile and tossed the pillow aside, lunging across the bed. She shrieked, laughing, and tried to get away.

    John dragged her back and pinned her down. Anthea's breath caught.

    "You'll pay for that," he told her in a low voice.

    "You promise?" she breathed.

    Later, watching John sleep, Anthea realised that it was good they were secretive about this. It was another added layer of stress, that much was true, but even if protocol hadn't forbidden it, she couldn't see them being open about it. Eventually, maybe, she could introduce him to her parents.

    She nearly laughed aloud at the idea. Something told her that John and her dad would not get along.

    She didn't know where this thing with John was going. The longer it went on, though, the more her emotions became compromised. Anthea was falling hard and fast, and she didn't know how he felt about it all.

    She ran her fingers through John's hair, and decided she needed to talk to the one person who knew about this. Lindy could give her the perspective she needed.

    ----------

    "Lindy, I've a problem."

    "Mm-hmm?" Lindy's dark blonde head was bent over her keyboard screen, her reply absent-minded.

    Anthea sighed in frustration, not even sure if her friend had actually heard her. "I need to talk to you, Lin. *Now."

    Lindy finally lifted her head, blinking brown eyes. "What? You're not knocked up, are you?"

    ". . . No."

    "Then what are you so worked up about?"

    Anthea grabbed Lindy's arm and yanked her out of her chair. She dragged her protesting friend across the lobby to the ladies' and, once inside, leaned against the door so the other woman couldn't escape.

    "I'm in love with John," she blurted.

    Lindy rolled her eyes. "Duh."

    "Am I that obvious?"

    "You've been sleeping with him for weeks, and you go all googly when his name comes up. The rare times I see you, that is."

    Anthea thunked her head back against the door panel and sighed. "Sorry. I'm not ignoring you on purpose. I've never felt like this, Lindy. I've fancied men before, but there's something about John Harrison that just consumes me."

    "Sad. You sound just like that idiot Marla back at the academy. Took her personality from every chap she shagged."

    Anthea snorted. "Oh, yeah. McGivers. How did she manage to graduate? What's she doing now, anyway?"

    "Dunno. Historian, I think. Boooring."

    "Yeah, 'cause secretly killing people is so much better." Anthea shook her head. "So. I can't tell him, obviously. Too soon."

    "Pardon me for seeming repetitious, luv, but again, duh."

    "But what do I do?"

    Lindy rolled her eyes. "Sometimes you can be an idiot. Talk to him. I don't approve, you know I don't, but it's nice to see you happy. So talk to him, ask him where it's going."

    Now that was a scary prospect.

    ----------

    It amused him how besotted she was.

    It wasn't a cruel amusement, by any means. Anthea was smart and funny, and very resourceful. He enjoyed her company, and her romantic feelings for him weren't a bother in the slightest. She hadn't said anything yet, but it was clear as crystal when she looked at him, the way she said the name he'd been given not even a year ago.

    He wanted to hear her real name on his lips. But not yet.

    Anthea, he knew, would be a very useful ally. And he had come to care for her quite a bit. It would take so very little to cement her allegiance to him, to secure her as a helpmate and a partner in crime.

    Not that he had any intention of letting her in on that part of things. It was best if she stayed in the dark regarding his plans for Admiral Marcus.

    He watched her dress, reclined on her bed, studying the way she drew her hair back into the prim chignon, donned the ugly, dark grey uniform of her post. The agent of Starfleet he could do without. The woman underneath, however, fascinated him. He found himself possessive of her.

    When he had completed his work, he would take her with him. No, he thought. This would not be a hardship at all.

    ----------

    Another late night, more construction on his cannon prototype. Her fingers were sore from bending little wires and holding the soldering tweezers.

    "We about done on this thing, yet?" she asked.

    "Nearly. I haven't devised an outer shell yet. But that can wait."

    He put the soldering equipment away. Anthea flipped through the blueprints on his desk. A few down from the top were new drafts for the torpedoes. She tugged it out of the stack.

    "John?"

    "Hmm?"

    "I thought these had been approved for production? The torpedoes?"

    He closed the cabinet and strode back over, plucking the blueprints from her. "They have. These are theoretical improvements for a future version."

    "Oh." That was understandable. What wasn't was the large space inside that was completely blank. Mentally, she shrugged. Maybe he just hadn't figured out an improved propulsion system yet.

    They had a very late dinner, picking up some takeaway on the trip to his flat. Then he coaxed her to bed, which admittedly took no real effort on his part.

    A cry from John brought her out of her doze. Anthea rolled over, reaching for him. He was asleep, trapped in some sort of nightmare. She ran a hand over his shoulder, trying to calm him, but he shook and curled away from her. He hardly ever had nightmares at her place, nearly always when they stayed over at his.

    "John," she murmured. "John, darling, wake up."

    He murmured something that sounded like "Otto". Then, clearly, "Kati!"

    Anthea squeezed his arm. "John, wake up!"

    This time, his eyes snapped open. He turned his head to look at her.

    "You were having a nightmare, sweetheart." Anthea snuggled into him as he rolled over.

    "Was I? I don't recall." He threaded his fingers through her hair.

    "You called to someone. Someone named Kati?"

    John's fingers stilled on their slide through the silken brown strands. "My sister," he said softly, after a long pause. "She's been gone a long time."

    She raised on an elbow to study him. "You never speak of your family."

    "I am afraid it's a painful subject, my dear. I have been . . . alone for longer than I would like."

    Anthea shifted to straddle him, shoving her hair out of her face as she did. "Not alone anymore."

    "No. You're very right about that." His hands settled on her hips, wrinkling the fabric of his shirt that she'd donned before bed. "You have made life so much more bearable these past weeks, Thea."

    "Have I? Good to know." She ran her hands over his bare chest. Anthea bit her lip, wanting to say the words that lurked on her tongue, knowing she shouldn't. It was too soon.

    "That said . . ." he began, and trailed off. His eyes fixed on hers in the dark, and she wished she knew what he was thinking. She hadn't had the courage yet to start "the talk".

    Anthea knew she was a chicken, but she didn't want to put her heart out there and find he was only in this for the sex. He was so good at hiding his thoughts. His next words could be anything; he gave her no hint.

    John twisted slightly, one hand shifting to her thigh to hold her steady as he stretched with the other towards his nightstand. He hooked a pinkie around the edge of the drawer and tugged it open. Reaching in, he fished about blindly for a moment before locating his quarry. Whatever it was was small, and he held it in a closed fist, leaving the drawer open for the moment.

    Returning his gaze to the woman astride him, he said, "I am not a romantic man, Anthea, and not fond of elaborate trappings. so I'll say this simply. Marry me."

    She couldn't hide her surprise, nearly falling over in her shock. This was the last thing she'd expected. "Are- Are you serious?"

    "Deadly." He rotated his hand and produced a gorgeous ruby ring, the stone set in gold, surrounded by little diamonds. "I know this isn't traditional, but it belonged to my mother. I've managed to keep it over the years. I want you to wear it, Anthea, and be my wife."

    She stared at the thumbnail-sized scarlet gem, one hand pressed to her mouth. "We've been together, what, a month or so? How can you know-"

    "That I want you? Some things you just know, Thea. And we both know that you should take nothing for granted in this life. I want to cherish every moment." His grey eyes were intent on her face.

    She should have been alarmed at the speed of this, should have worried that she still didn't really know him. But for once, she wanted to live impulsively, and do what her heart dictated, not her head.

    "Yes," she said, for what else could she say?

    He slipped the ring onto her finger. Oddly, it fit perfectly.

    "I'd say that's meant to be," John commented.

    Anthea smiled. "I agree."

    He placed a kiss on the back of her hand. "When is it to be, my dear? I confess I don't want a big ceremony. I'm rather fond of the idea of absconding with you to some remote place and eloping."

    Laughing, she said, "Nothing is remote these days."

    "Nothing on-planet. What do you say to Betazed? I've been meaning to visit the Darona colony. It's not a Federation planet, not yet, but fast looking to be one."

    "I've heard lovely things about Betazed." Anthea laid a hand lovingly against his cheek. "Since I have absolutely no preferences one way or the other, let's do that."
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  4. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    [face_laugh] Probably tomorrow, when I'm not about to drop :p

    That's really cool! What a fun dream :D Have you ever read anything by Katherine Kurtz? She said her Deryni series came to her in a dream.
  5. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Read at your leisure, it isn't going anywhere. :D

    I haven't read anything of hers, though my mom knows her. We had a standing invitation to visit her castle in Ireland, but she sold it and moved to Virginia. I didn't get to drop in when I was in Ireland last year.
  6. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    A great chapter. And all from a dream? Amazing
  7. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Thanks! I've made a few modifications here and there, fleshed it out, but yeah. All from a dream.
  8. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    And here I am at last, trying not to skip the romance-novel bits. If you hadn't had the character show up with a baby in the Prologue, I would have known she was going to end up "shagging [him] into the next century" by having her immediately start using azure. I noticed in both your novels that the more extensive use of the thesaurus, the more imminent the shagging. :p I'm here for the plot, not the nookie. That said, yes, I agree that you've got Khan down wonderfully. I was amused by "When the Romulans had attacked earlier in the year, it became apparent that they really needed better ways to defend themselves." I think you meant to say that Starfleet needed better ways to defend themselves, not the Romulans. The Romulans did just fine, IIRC. Following this.
  9. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I thought it was apparent that Anthea was referring to Starfleet. Oh, well. :p As for the shagging thing, with the way I write these scenes, the description really has nothing to do with proximity to sexytiems. At least not deliberately.

    I'm glad you think he's in character 'cause I've had at least one reader express concern that he's OOC. Of course, they hadn't seen the original Khan, so . . .
  10. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I was just sitting there and wishing that we would have his perspective explaining his intentions...and then you wrote it in there.
  11. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I don't want to spend too much time inside his head, but every once in a while, he starts talking and I have to write it down.
  12. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Some great insight into Harrison's character and now he wants to marry Anthea; so, why do I have a bad feeling about this? [face_worried]
  13. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Because you've seen the movie? :p
  14. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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

    The first two days of her engagement, Anthea was over the moon. Then reality began to set in. She'd known him six months. They'd been dating a little over six weeks. Were they rushing things?

    John had travelled to California to meet with Marcus and visit the Daystrom Institute for something or other, so Anthea was by herself, eating lunch alone at her desk.

    She pushed her salad aside, having lost her appetite for the leafy greens drenched in a Vulcan-style dressing. Anthea stared at the ring John had given her, tipping it back and forth, watching the light play with the inclusions in the nearly-opaque stone.

    John had asked her to marry him, and she'd said yes. She hadn't even really thought about it, just opened her mouth and the word had popped out.

    She loved him. There was no question in her mind about that. She just didn't know if she was really ready for this next step. And what had compelled John to ask her? They'd made no declarations, even now that they were engaged. Neither had said those three little words. True, neither were the openly demonstrative type. Every display of affection was behind closed doors, our of preference as well as necessity.

    That he wanted to marry her, that he'd given her this ring that obviously meant a great deal to him, told Anthea that he did care.

    She sighed and gathered her salad, in its biodegradable bowl, and tossed it in the trash beside her. She wanted to talk it out with her mum, but knew that would fly about as well as a chunk of lead.

    "Yeah, Mum, I'm having a secret relationship with my boss and he's asked me to marry him. Why, no, why ever would you think it was a bad idea?" she said aloud, and thunked her head down on her desk.

    The door slid open and John walked in. He paused, eyeing her.

    "Hi, honey, I'm home," he said, after a moment.

    Anthea lifted her head. There was a red circle on her forehead. He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. "Hi. How'd the meeting go?"

    "Fine. I still want to wring his neck, but nothing unusual there. You look . . . piqued. Everything alright here?"

    "Yeah," she sighed. "Just, um . . ."

    "Yes?"

    "Cold feet," she confessed. "This is such a huge thing, and we haven't been together that long. Sometimes I feel I barely know you-"

    He crossed over to the desk and turned her chair, crouching in front of her. "Anthea. Take a breath. Is it a huge thing, really? What about marrying me will be so drastically different from what we have now?"

    She chewed on her bottom lip. "I don't suppose it would be that different," she relented. "You practically live at my place anyway."

    "Yes. And I look forward to someday making that a reality. As for your second point . . ." He sighed. "I apologise if you feel I have shut you out on anything. I have a very difficult time talking about my past and my family. I only want to look forward, and I want you to be part of that future. If you're not ready, my dear, we can wait as long as you'd like."

    Anthea had to smile. "You are pretty close to perfect, you know that?"

    "'Pretty close'?" he repeated, feigning offense.

    She laughed. "Thanks for not freaking out. I guess I just needed to say it all aloud."

    "You can always bring your concerns to me. Do not be afraid to confide in me."

    "Same goes here, you know."

    He clasped her hands, toying with the ruby ring. "In the spirit of confession . . . I never knew my father. My mother, Sarina, died in an explosion when I was four years old. My sister, Kati, was two. We were raised by relatives."

    She squeezed his fingers. "Oh, John, I'm so sorry! No wonder you don't talk about your family. If . . . if it's too painful for you, I won't ask, alright?"

    "You may ask, but there isn't much more to tell. I left home at eighteen, did my own thing for a while. After I lost Kati . . . I ended up in Starfleet.

    Anthea stood, pulling him to his feet. "I do want this," she told him. "I suppose it's that none of it's what I expected, and I'm intimidated."

    "I understand." He glanced at the discarded salad in the trash bin. "Why don't you take the rest of the day off? And get a real lunch."

    She snorted. "Yeah. Okay. Dinner, my place?"

    "I'll be there."

    ----------

    Anthea went straight home and changed out of her uniform. She hated the thing, but it was required. She threw on a black and white pencil skirt with a floral pattern, and a somewhat matching top. Black and white ballet flats completed the ensemble. It wasn't, colour-wise, much better than her grey suit, but stylistically, lightyears better.

    She puttered around for a bit, checking the home computer for messages, and the mail. When that was done, she stood for a moment in the kitchen, not really sure what to do with herself.

    She wanted to share her news with Lindy, but it seemed wrong. An affair was one thing. This, marrying John, was so much more, and had so many more complications, Anthea didn't want to deal with them yet. And she loved Lindy like a sister, but she didn't trust her not to mention it to anyone.

    Shopping, she decided. She'd go shopping, maybe buy a new coat for when it got chilly. She hadn't bought a new one in a few years, and the wool was getting a bit shabby.

    As a concession to the cooler weather, Anthea draped herself in a turquoise, beaded kaftan that her mum had bought her in India a while back, when her parents had gone there on holiday. It reminded her of the first night she and John had made love, and she grinned as she left the house.

    It was on a little side street, not too far from her brownstone, where Anthea found the dress.

    She'd never been much of a fussy person when it came to clothes, preferring modern cuts and simple lines with a few bold details here and there. Ruffles and frills weren't really her thing. But she nearly tripped on her own feet when she passed a small, "retro" clothing store; there, in the window, was the Dress.

    Mesmerised despite herself, she wandered in to get a better look. She was the only one in the shop, besides the clerk, but she barely noticed.

    The dress had the simple lines she loved, a strapless column of pale lace in tiers that laid flat on their way down the skirt. It was what her mother would have called "tea stained", darker than ivory but not quite tan.

    It wasn't a wedding dress, not really, but she knew she wanted to wear it. And looking at that dress, Anthea also knew that she could worry until her hair fell out about whether it was too soon, or the right thing to do, but it didn't matter. Smart? Maybe not. She was going to do it anyway.

    What was that old saying? Marry in haste, repent at leisure?

    She tried on the dress. Like the ring, it fit perfectly, and she wondered, just a little, if the universe was setting her up.

    ----------

    John was waiting in her parlour when she came in, the dress in a bag. He'd obviously stopped by his flat on the way over and changed out of his Starfleet attire. For once, he had some colour on, in the form of a deep red shirt.

    "Branching out, are we?" she inquired, as he followed her upstairs.

    "I took your advice." He shrugged and his gaze went to the bag. "What is that?"

    "Oh, just a little something I bought while I was out." She hung the bag on the back of her bedroom door. Glancing at him out of the corner of her eye, she added, "A wedding dress."

    "Really." He extended a hand towards the bag's zipper, as if intending to take a peek.

    Anthea smacked his hand lightly. "Nuh-uh. Not yet."

    John caught her hands and backed her against the door, pinning her to it with her arms above her head, his body holding her to the panel. "So you've decided you are going to marry me."

    "I never had any intention of not," she whispered. "When is more the issue."

    He brushed his lips over hers. "Soon, I hope. I mentioned to Marcus the idea of going to Darona, and he approved it. We can go at any time."

    Anthea stood on her toes to kiss him. Her hesitation aside, this felt right. "How soon can you get a ship ready?"

    ----------

    It took a few days to get the details of their excursion together. It was very easy to arrange the trip itself. With Admiral Marcus giving them the go-ahead, they just had to secure a ship and rearrange a few things that needed attention while they were gone.

    The colony on Darona was known for scientific research, and since it wasn't yet a member of the Federation, the Betazed system was free to do what it liked regarding contact with Romulus and Qo'noS . . . as long as the head of the Federation didn't find out, that was. The Betazoid people were peaceful, but they allowed others to use their facilities for things of less placid nature.

    And, as a separate entity, its civil records weren't reported to the Federation.

    That was one thing John insisted on: they needed to keep Starfleet in the dark, especially Admiral Marcus. Anthea had no arguments there. If Marcus found out, he could transfer her off-planet on a whim. She was the disposable one, after all. If it came to that, she'd resign, even if it meant she wouldn't be working with John anymore. She loved Starfleet, but her relationship was more important to her.

    Still, even with secrecy in mind, Anthea couldn't resist taking Lindy to lunch, to catch up.

    "So how are things going with Commander Tight Pants?" Lindy joked, as she poked at her salad.

    "Everything's fine. We're just plugging along. Any news on the guy front for you?"

    Lindy shook her head. "Though I may take a chance and ask the barista at the coffee shop out. Can't tell him any deep, dark secrets, but he's cute and he'd be good for a fling."

    Anthea laughed. "Go for it."

    She concentrated for a few minutes on her food, then said, "We've a trip to Betazed in a few days. I'll be gone a couple weeks. Not entirely sure how long. There's a research facility out there we're going to have a look at, see if they'll share anything with us."

    "Careful with that. All those people are empaths."

    Anthea nodded. "I'm aware. I don't have much to hide, anyway. They pick up emotions, not actual thoughts. And Commander Harrison is about as readable as invisible ink."

    "You have the talk with him yet?"

    "Of a sort."

    "Yeah, you don't seem as anxious." Lindy finished her salad. "I hate to eat and run, but Doctor Marcus is stopping by and I have orders to keep her out of B10."

    Anthea raised a brow. "I wonder why?"

    "Getting on her dad's nerves, I'd imagine. Have fun with that trip, lemme know when you get back."
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  15. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    *snort* Commander Tight Pants. Glad Anthea does have a hint of cold feet or I'd smack her. :p
  16. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    She's in love, not a complete idiot! [face_laugh]
  17. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Soon they will be married and then I wonder if Marcus will notice the ring on her finger. [face_nail_biting]
  18. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Well, it's not the typical sparkly, so even if he did, "engagement ring" probably wouldn't be the first thing to come to mind.
  19. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice to see Anthea getting a dress she loves.
  20. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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

    "I'm afraid that the majority of our time will be spent in legitimate research," John told her as they boarded the small, warp-capable ship he'd acquisitioned for the journey. It was named "Reliance", no USS designation, and belonged to Section 31, rather than the Federation.

    "I've no problem with that," she assured him.

    "This is also serving as a test of a scaled-down version of the new warp core. It can, in theory, reach warp nine."

    "Nice. We'll get there in a week, rather than in months."

    "Precisely."

    Anthea settled into the co-pilot's seat. "Are we making any stops on the way?"

    "None planned. Not to imply that I do not want to spend as much time with you as possible, but I would rather not anger Marcus by being gone too long."

    She watched him program their course in, and everything else they needed to start their journey. "He watches you like a hawk. I'd even say he acts as if he owns you. Why is that?"

    John's fingers stilled on the controls. "A conversation for another time, my dear. All in good time. It is a sore subject and I would rather not start this trip in a bad mood."

    Anthea reached over and rubbed his shoulder. "Okay. But you know you can talk to me about anything, right? Since we're going to be married and all."

    He gave her hand a brief squeeze. "I know. Now, strap in. I'm not certain how rough this ride is going to be."

    ----------

    Betazed was a lovely planet, rich with plant and animal life, and a thriving culture. They had a matriarchal religion, which the Federation apparently wanted them to abolish before they'd let them join. Privately, Anthea thought that was a ridiculous requirement, but she wasn't in charge.

    They reached the planet after several blissful days of doing pretty much nothing aboard the Reliance but bask in each other. She tried to pry details about his history out of him, but he steadfastly refuse to divulge much of anything. She didn't blame him for not wanting to talk about his mother and sister, but other than a few anecdotes about boyhood exploits, he was as opaque as ever.

    After getting settled at a gorgeous resort just outside the capitol of Rixx, they set about the more enjoyable part of their visit.

    The Betazoids had a tradition where the entire wedding party, to celebrate openness and love, attended the ceremony nude. Anthea wanted no part of that, and even John looked perturbed at the idea. She'd learned early on that very little surprised him, but that, apparently, did. She would cherish the look on his face for eternity.

    "No, absolutely not," she told the officiant. "That's your tradition and I'm certain it's lovely, but we would prefer to keep our clothes on, thanks."

    The woman looked skeptical, but agreed in the end, as they weren't Betazed.

    Anthea dressed in her lace gown. It didn't have a train or anything ridiculous. She'd never been interested in a big, poofy dress, anyway. She curled her hair, piled it up and pinned it in place with a red-jewelled comb. Rubies at her ears and around her neck, in a long drape, completed her look.

    John wore his ubiquitous black, in a high-collared jacket and matching trousers, the starkness alleviated only by a dark-grey shirt. She thought he looked high-fashion in a way that most underestimated.

    When they gave their names for the ceremony, he hesitated ever so slightly before stating, "John Nathaniel Harrison."

    Anthea didn't think anything of it. This was, after all, a rather momentous occasion. "Anthea Skye Mackintosh."

    Later, after they'd been pronounced man and wife, John took her to dinner. Over champagne, he asked, "Skye?"

    "Hmm?"

    "Your middle name is Skye."

    "Oh. My dad is from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. My mother is English. They live in Edinburgh at the moment. I'm an only child, though not for lack of trying on my parents' part."

    John sipped at his champagne, studying her over the rim of his glass. "You are fortunate in that. Having your parents, I mean."

    She reached across the table and took his hand. "I can't bring your mother back, but . . . we're family now."

    He didn't answer immediately. Instead, he laced his fingers with hers and rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb, smiling faintly. "Thank you . . . Mrs. Harrison."

    After dinner, they returned to the hotel suite he'd arranged for them. There was no oversight of his spending, as long as he produced results, so no one would notice that they were sharing a room. And contrary to his insistence that he was not romantic, the setting was exactly that. The private terrace outside overlooked stunning views of the city and the gardens that surrounded the hotel.

    Anthea leaned against the railing and sighed. John came up behind her and rested his hands on her hips, his chin on her shoulder.

    "What are you thinking?" he asked.

    "I suppose we're at the point in our relationship where it's safe to say 'I love you'," she murmured.

    "That would be the assumption, yes."

    She turned and laid her hands against his cheeks. "I do love you. The night you asked me to marry you, I wanted to say the words but I was afraid it was too soon."

    "Too soon? I think we have known each other long enough to know our feelings." John plucked the comb from her hair. "Though I will admit, it has been a long time since I have felt for a woman even a fraction of what I feel for you."

    He drew her back through the double doors and into their bedroom. There, he ran his fingers through her hair, dislodging the pins she'd used to hold it up. "I love you, Anthea. My beautiful Thea."

    "John," she whispered.

    His hands tightened in her hair and she winced. "Sorry."

    "It's fine. My hair tangles so easily when I curl it." Anthea raised her arms, turned a little to present her back. "Help me out of this, would you, darling?"

    John let her hair tumble around her shoulders. He slowly slid the zipper down, fingers catching the delicate lace of her dress before it fell.

    "This dress is an interesting choice," he commented. He dropped a kiss on her bare shoulder. "You are lovely in it, but it seems . . . a little old-fashioned for your usual style."

    "I saw it in the window and just had to have it," she joked.

    His hands slid around her waist. Anthea clutched the bodice of the dress to keep it from fleeing. "Have you seen that movie? Or read the book?"

    "Mm. Mum likes it. It's very old, a good three hundred years. I was never much for it. Scarlett always struck me as something of an idiot."

    John chuckled. "I thought the same, when I saw it as a boy. I very much preferred 'Star Wars'."

    "Ah, such a classic, even now. So you're a classic film junkie, huh?"

    He nipped at her ear. "Of a sort. As I said, I enjoy things from the twentieth century. The time of imagination before space travel, when civilisation was poised on the edge of greatness and the future was ripe with possibility."

    "I love the way you said that. But then, I could listen to you read the dictionary and it would turn me on." She turned, sliding her hands over the crisp material of his shirt. "I brought some, ah, things with me. I'm going to go change into something less comfortable."

    "Less comfortable," he repeated with a chuckle. "That sounds intriguing."

    "Hang on here, I'll be right back."

    Anthea hurried into the dressing room of their suite. She carefully put the dress back in its bag, and stored her jewels, save for her ring.

    "Mrs. Harrison," she whispered. "I like the sound of that."

    She'd bought a black silk-satin nightdress and matching robe for the occasion, both trimmed in ivory lace. As she slipped into the lingerie, she hoped he'd like it. She hadn't done the lingerie thing for him before. It just hadn't been something she did. But Anthea was finding that there were a great many things she did concerning John Harrison that would have once been foreign to her.

    When she emerged, she found John standing by the windows, looking out at the night sky. Unlike London, the stars were visible here. He'd removed his coat and shirt, and stood wearing just the black slacks, feet bare. Anthea went to him, wrapping her arms around his waist.

    She pressed a kiss to the mole on the nape of his neck. "Credit chip for your thoughts."

    "They're not worth even that little," he told her.

    John turned. Seeing what she wore, he smiled. "You are lovely."

    "You're not so bad yourself." She laid her hands on his bare chest. "Let's go to bed, husband."

    He tugged at the sash holding her robe closed, and Anthea let the garment fall to the floor. "As you wish, wife."

    ----------

    The bed shifting woke Anthea. She sat up, found John at the edge of the bed, elbows on his knees, face in his hands.

    "John?"

    He didn't answer. She rose on her knees and wrapped her arms around him, pressing a kiss to the back of his neck.

    "More nightmares, darling?" she whispered.

    John reached up, closing a hand around her outer arm. "Pressures of doing what Admiral Marcus wants."

    "Yes, he's had a pretty ambitious goal for the department, hasn't he?" Anthea kissed the corner of his jaw. "Come back to bed. No point in worrying about it right now."

    She coaxed him back to the middle of the bed.

    "I cannot sleep right now," he told her.

    Anthea smiled slyly. "Who said anything about sleeping?"
    earlybird-obi-wan and RX_Sith like this.
  21. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    A great wedding scene followed by a nice suite with a beautiful view with the newlyweds enjoying all the benefits. :D
  22. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    "Bask in each other." So that's the latest euphemism. I liked the wedding stuff.
  23. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Who wouldn't? :p

    Oh, shush. Yes, my characters are consenting adults. :p
  24. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Someone over on ff.net brought up the question of how I'm keeping John/Khan in character without him being the cold terminator we see in "Into Darkness", so I wrote the following and thought I'd share here:

    A good lot of his "warmth" is a show. He knows he's supposed to act a certain way in a relationship, so he does. He's colder when he doesn't have to "turn it on". John Harrison is a fiction, so some of his behaviour is, too. That's the thing about sociopaths. They're frequently excellent actors . . . when they have the motivation and they want something. He's also incredibly pissed off when interacting with Kirk, and he's more prone to cold fury than anything else. All we see of him, really, is a ~ three-day period where he's in dire circumstances. We don't see how he is when he's not bent on vengeance or focused on something that intently. Some of his characterisation I've borrowed from "Space Seed", as well, which shows him in different circumstances. I totally think he bases his behaviour on what he needs and who he needs it from. Since Anthea wouldn't respond to his being an icy son of a b****, that isn't who he's giving her.
  25. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I admire that you are able to write this kind of physical relationship with such grace, personally. I took my evil character and made the relationship not all that touchy-feely.
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