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Close Quarters [Complete]


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Smut warning. It's Ein and Kyria. You've been warned. :D


Late Afternoon, September 21, 2019

Steve, Karrie, and their nameless friend had been given a friendly but insistent escort to the barracks. SAS soldiers had kept the cordoned off from everyone else, much to Itty's loud annoyance. The local HPT team was already there and everyone was ushered through chemical showers, and radiations test, then split up into smaller sealed bubble rooms inside the base's gym. Doctors cycled through in HAZMAT suits taking blood samples and handing out bags with bright pink sets of PHE clothes in them. When they got to Steve, there was a snag in the procedure when needles bent rather than pierce Steve's skin. Pictures were taken. A lot of needles were broken. Some enterprising doctor finally just asked Steve if he could cut him with a scalpel. The soldier bemusedly watched the doctor strain to get the blade to pierce skin, though everyone in the room sighed in relief when a small line of blood finally welled up. They gave him a butterfly needle after that and came to check it every so often to make sure he hadn't healed it out or something equally weird. 

Several hours after sunrise, the other soldiers were cleared and released. Bubbles consolidated down until Steve, Karrie, and their still unnamed red-headed were together and alone.

"We're running more tests and waiting for word from our main office," Terrance, the PHE lead told them matter-of-factly from the other side of the seal. "Once we hear, we'll know what to do next. Right now, there's for it but to wait. I suggest getting some sleep. Let us know if you need more blankets."

That had been six hours ago. Afternoon light streamed into the gym from the windows. Lunch had come and gone and not been half enough even though it'd been a double portion for each of them. The red-head not only hadn't slept, she'd refused to even sit on the third bed. She was pacing now, looking anxious and...

"I'm bored," she said with a sigh. She hung herself over Steve's shoulders. "Entertain me! Let's go fight another monster. Or play cards. Something."

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Steve had been sitting blamelessly on his bed, listening to a small personal radio with some earphones, and trying not to go out of his mind.  He'd slept, of course.  He needed less sleep now, but like all soldiers he grabbed sleep even when he didn't need it, figuring that sooner or later he'd be glad he had.  That had taken care of a few hours as he lay with his eyes closed, smelling the recycled air and listening to his cellmate pacing.  But there was only so much of that he could reasonably do, so he was trying to relax and not stare at the redheaded sprite pacing back and forth around the quarantine bubble. - and there wasn't even a football or rugby game on to listen to, just endless reports about the worldwide storm on the few channels that weren't off air, plus some stations broadcasting music on repeat.


As the redhead draped herself over him like a feminine fur stole, he clicked the radio off with a sigh and tugged out the earphones.  "Luv, I can't even entertain myself right now.  And I'm pretty certain that going to find another monster will royally piss off Her Majesty's Government."  He glanced at her face alongside his - at least he was clothed now, white t-shirt and fatigue pants rather than a silver kilt.


"I guess we could ask for some cards."  he hazarded, looking over at Karen, then back at the lovely girl hanging off him.  "What do you want to play?"


"Poker!"  she exclaimed.  "Str-"


"Don't say 'strip poker'."  Steve cut her off with a finger to her lips, which she grinned behind.  "We're in a clear plastic observation bubble.  You want the nice scientists to see you dancing around in your nothings?"


"I wasn't going to lose."  she pouted, eyes dancing merrily.  "You were."


"Nice try." he returned levelly.  "Still not going rise to it."


"You're no fun!" she mock-whined, slender fingers tugging at his short hair.


"You're right.  I'm not." he nodded.  "I'm mean and horrible."  He half-turned, sliding her off his shoulders to sit next to him, then lay back on his cot.  "Why don't you get some rest?"


"I don't need rest!" she gave him a heart-melting pout.


"Rest when you don't need to, cos you won't be able to when you do need to." he responded as if by rote, folding his arms behind his head and closing his eyes.  "I'm going to rest."

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Karrie had been concentrating on her writing, or rather she’d been trying to concentrate. She’d tried sleeping too, but had finally been forced to give up when her cellmate’s feet had earwigged an irritating commercial jingle into her head. She’d requested pen and paper from the Brits, and started writing.


The redhead -- she needed to pick a name to use -- had flittered over to see what Karrie was doing, pouting when she’d seen a sting of numbers and letters on the page. “Is that code?” she asked.


“Yes,” Karrie replied casually.


“But… why?” the woman asked. 


“So that people can’t look over my shoulder and read what I’m writing,” Karrie told her. In truth, she’d always written her notes in code, ever since she’d had her diary stolen in second grade and teased about its secrets. When she’d told her parents, her father had helped her develop her own personal secret code. He’d thought it’d be a phase, but Karrie just considered it the first step down the road of a professional secret-keeper.


“What are you writing?” the woman persisted.


“My thoughts,” Karrie answered. 




“What happened yesterday.” She didn’t add, and it’s ongoing impact on global stability. While that statement was reasonable in light of what had happened, Karrie didn’t feel like leaving breadcrumbs revealing her true nature. Job, Karrie, it’s a job, she reminded herself wryly, her pen continuing to move over the pages. 


Perhaps it was in her nature as well, she thought as she considered the pages of neatly lettered gibberish. Gibberish to anyone but her; after years of using this code, she could read it like she read English.


“What are your thoughts?” the redhead asked.


Karrie looked up at her finally and said, “You need a name. Something Steve and I can call you.”

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The red-head nodded, causing her hanging hair to brush up against Karrie's cheek. Sometime while looking over her shoulder, the girl had inverted herself in the air. "Hmmm...." she mused, then pointed to a ciphered word in Karrie’s journal. “What about that one?”

Karrie followed the finger to Kyr1a. “Kyronea?” she said, raising her eyebrow. At the same time, she set the pad of paper aside casually, ‘just happening’ to set it face-down. “What about changing the one to a ‘I’? K-Y-R-I-A?”

“Keye-ree-ah?” The woman scrunched her nose. “Keye-reye-ah?”

"Old word.  Means 'red-headed lemur'."  Steve said laconically from where he lay on his bunk, eyes still shut.

Karrie swallowed a snort of laughter and said, "Kia-rah?"

A mostly empty cup of water was procured from one of the beds' side tables. Still floating upside down, the red-head poured the splash of water down on Steve's forehead, along with the couple of ice cubes that hadn't melted yet. "K-ear-ee-ah?" she asked Karrie, still hovering over the SAS selectee.

He flinched  as the cold water seeped down over his face and  scalp, one ice cube coming to rest on his collar bone while the other disappeared behind his neck.  With a sigh, he opened one eye and, plucking the cube from his chest, flicked it at the flying girl.

"Kee-ree-ah."  he suggested, wiping his face with one hand, before resuming his relaxed pose.  One blue eye remained on the floating redhead, however.

"You were supposed to yelp," she informed him conspiratorially, as if he was an actor who'd missed his cue. She caught the ice cube and popped it into her mouth, sucking on it thoughtfully. "Keereeah. Kyria. I like it. What do you think, Karrie? Is that good enough for a name?"

"I've met people with worse," Karrie said, leaning against the wall behind her bunk and curling her feet under her. It was interesting, that Kyria was worried if it was a 'good enough' name. "Personally, I think my fiancé's name is a little silly, but he's named after a uncle who passed away in childhood, so he's fond of it. Do you like it?"

The newly named Kyria shrugged. "You wanted something to call me. It's easy enough to say and it won't get confused with Steve, so....yeah?"

"Praise the Lawd."  muttered not-Kyria, but the gruff sergeant smiled a little.  "It's a pretty name."

"It is," Karrie agreed, not mentioning that was very pretty for what was essentially alphabet soup. "So, are we going to talk about ourselves -- as much as we can -- or just sit here--"

A beep on the wall brought everyone's attention to the tray next to the door, where the tray shot out with a oversized phone in it. "Ms. Sherman, your supervisor at State requested that you call her."

"Thank you," Karrie said, picking up the phone. "May I make personal calls afterwards?"

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"Thank you." Karrie picked up the phone and dialed her boss's phone number. 


After a ring, her boss answered with a barked, "Harrison."


"Sherman, sir. You asked me to report." Karrie could see her supervisor, an axe-faced woman with beautiful steel-gray hair, leaning back in her chair so she could peer out the window like she always did on calls.


"Are you able to talk freely?"


"No, sir." She didn't’ look at her cellmates.


"Very well. We received notice that the asset is not in-house anymore.” The background noise rose a bit then dropped again. Karrie blinked as she realized she could hear someone slipping into one of Harrison’s chairs.


“Correct, sir,” she replied. She didn’t ask who the other person was. 


“Are you with the asset?”


“Yes, sir.”


“Hmm. Do you think you can get her home?” Harrison asked as someone else tapped their fingers impatiently.


“I understand what you’re asking, sir,” Karrie replied, pretty sure if she talked about ‘trying’ something and then selling Kyria on the U.S. of A. might look funny. Maybe not to Kyria, but it was better if no one suspected any proposals on her part weren’t her idea.


“Do you need anything?”


“If I do, I’ll ask, sir.”


“Chin up, Sherman. See you soon,” Harrison said in parting.


Karrie smiled and sat on the bunk, dialing one of two numbers she knew by heart. Her mom picked up a moment later. “Hello?”


“Hey, Mom, it’s me.”




Karrie winced. “I’m safe, still in England. Did they explain what’s going on?”


“Yes, sweetheart. Oh, I wish your father were home, he’ll hate having missed your call.”


“I have to call Brady still, and they aren’t giving us long to talk,” Karrie glanced at the clock on the wall, wondering how crazy Dad’s schedule must be today. “So I have to let you go. Tell everyone I love them, I’ll be home soon, and I’ll call again before if I can.”


“Love you too, sweetie! MWAH! Be safe, all that other sappy Mom-stuff!” 


“Bye.” Karrie immediately dialed one more time.


“Dewhurst.” Just hearing that single word from his mouth unknotted a hard lump in her gut.


“Hey, love.”


“Karrie.” The pure love and relief in his voice. “Are you okay?”


“Yes, but I can’t talk long.”


“I can’t either. Your dad said you had something weird happen to you?”


“Yes, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you,” Karrie promised. “I look the same, I promise.” 


“Good, because I love you the way you are, and not scary like my recruit went.” He usually didn’t talk about these things at all, and Karrie chalked that up to the stress he was under.


“I love you, too. See you soon, honey.”


“Soon. Be safe.”


“You, too,” Karrie said. When she hung up, she felt better and worse than before the call. She wanted nothing more than to be home with her family. Turning, she offered the phone to Steve and Kyria.

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"Not for me, miss."  Steve waved a hand briefly.  "I'm incommunicado until Her Majesty's Government, with all due consideration and care, has finished debriefing me and telling me what I'm allowed to say."  He didn't seem bitter or bothered by this in the slightest.  "Besides, most of me mates are Royal Marines, and my mum and dad will be notified that I'm fine."

Kyria took the phone from Karrie and started fiddling with the buttons and dials on the sat-phone. A few seconds of watching her and it was clear that she was just messing with the new toy, not actually making a call. Outside, the SAS soldier on phone duty rolled his eyes and hit the buzzer button again. "Ma'am-"

Kyria started, having somewhat zoned in to messing with the phone. In her hands, the phone snapped like a cheap children's toys. Kyria slowly looked up at the soldier, eyes wide. "Oops."

Steve's eyes opened wide at the crunching sound, then swiveled towards the red-headed mischief as his eyebrows quirked in surprise and amusement. Karrie didn't jerk at the crunch though she frowned at the broken phone.

"Well, that's an expensive piece of kit they can't charge me for, at least." he said slowly, regarding the broken phone and then Kyria.  "Best put the pieces in the airlock for the nice man in black, luv.  And be careful what you squeeze.  Or hug."

Kyria gingerly placed the twisted plastic and metal used-to-be comms device in the tray. A second soldier was waiting by the time the device had gone through decontamination, scooping up the tray and disappearing back out of the gymnasium doors. "Uh, yeah. Good advice." Her manic-pixie mood finally settled down into a moody sobriety.

"Perhaps we should all handle the world with kid gloves until we know what our limits are," Karrie sighed, hoping they allowed them another phone call. "So," she continued, clearly changing the subject, "how long have you been a Marine, Steve?"

"Sixteen years all in, thirteen years active, give or take.  Did three years girl's time out of school, then got my green beret just before I turned twenty.  So yeah, "  Steve answered, then took in the blank expressions.  "Uh, girl's time is what we call time served as an apprentice Marine, before you're old enough to go into active duty or try out for the Commandos."

"'Girl's time'?" Karrie said, eyebrow rising. "Nice. What is the age for active duty? I ask because I joined at eighteen, no 'boy's time'."

The answer was a rueful chuckle.  "Apprenticed at sixteen, active duty is eighteen, Commando training is nineteen.  I guess I only really did two years as an apprentice, but because I wanted to get capped my CO kept me on base duty til my nineteenth rolled around."

"Interesting," Karrie mused. "So apparently they do it very differently."

"Depends where you grow up.  We lived in Portsmouth, so apprenticing was an option.  You still live with your folks, see."

Sitting off to the side, Kyria chuckled. When the two of them looked at her, she shrugged. "I think I just redefined 'fight like a girl'. I mean..." she waved to the phone that had been carted off. "I'd try punching the wall or something, but....plastic."

Steve grinned.  "Just an old bit of slang.  Not many women in the Commandos, plenty in the Navy though."  He winked at Kyria.  "I'd write you a recommendation for the CTC if you want."

"CTC?" she asked, pushing herself off the floor to float, her mercurial mood shifting again. "What's that?"

"Commando Training Center - lovely holiday camp in Devon."  he replied, smiling.  "Fresh air, exercise, rain...  Everything a trainee needs.  I spent three years there as an instructor... After spending ten years trying to forget I was ever there." he added with a wry quirk of his lips.  "Still, compared to Hereford it's the bleedin' Bahamas."

"Hmm....I do suppose I'm going to need some sort of job." She grinned at Steve, his warning that she was up to something. "I dunno, though. I'd like something challenging."

He laughed at that.  "The most challenging thing for you, you flying squirrel, would be keeping your feet on the ground and doing what you're told.  You'd probably breeze everything else."  He glanced over at Karrie. "You said you joined up.  U.S Marines, or some other service before you went State?"

Kyria shot Steve a scrunched face that told him 'doing what you're told' is exactly the problem she'd have. That and probably driving her CO up the wall with pranks.

"Four years in the Yank Marines before I joined State," Karrie said with a nod. "My father wanted me to serve - he's a politician and service helps that career. He was a little dismayed when I choose the Marines, though."

"Decent bunch.  Played some games with some Force Recon lads a time or two, either over here or over there."  Steve nodded approvingly.  "A Marine is a Marine, Bootneck or Jarhead."  He scrutinised her, blue eyes keen over the short beard in the tanned face.  "So what do you do at State?"

"Logistics, mostly purchasing supplies for embassies." Karrie smiled. The old lie came with practiced ease. "Basically,  it's a mix between a glorified personal shopper and a glorified courier."

"At least it's glorious?" Kyria interjected impishly.

"Very glorious," Karrie agreed with a grin.

Steve chuckled, closing his eyes again.  "Sounds like the start of a joke:  A personal shopper, a Marine and an amnesiac walk into a bar..."

"You forgot the giant." She tilted her head. "Though I don't know if it's a very good joke if one of them dies."

"Depends on the audience," Steve countered. 

Karrie laughed. "That is fair. So, can I ask you guys something?" At their nods, she said, "I've been trying to figure out where that giant came from? My best theory is that The Storm made it, like it made us. Thoughts?"

"I'd guess if it made it like it made us... exactly like, then it was someone who got abilities and went berserk."  Steve said, frowning a little though with his eyes still closed.  "Or else it was a literal monster made of frost.  I know which I find easier to swallow."

Kyria nodded to Steve. "Yeah, I'd put wager down on 'person', too. No body left, so maybe not. But person seems most likely. And we don't know that they went berserk. They might have just been not a good person. A bully made into more of a bully. Or someone inherently violent. I mean, I can't really say for myself, but have either of you felt like you're going to go berserk? Or different at all, psychologically, since all this happened?"

"A little, actually," Karrie admitted. "First, I am not normally this composed about giants running around for real. Second, there was a moment when I knew that I could shut down both your powers, and I was tempted to do so because I could. That is not a usual response for me -- to deny others because I can."

"Hmm."  Steve pondered a little.  "I don't feel much different at first review.  I can feel my power, and how it's connecting me to air currents, temperature...  Other than that I feel like myself, only more so."

"So, Karrie's curiously calm and Steve's stubbornly still the same." Kyria grinned again, clearly a cat in cream at the moment. Then she shrugged a shoulder and continued the actual conversation. "So, from a theoretical sample pool of four, one person is calmer, one has no frame of reference, and the third feels unaffected. It leaves 'go berserk' as a possibility, but leaning away from 'clearly the case'."

"Give a bloke with resentments and issues - or a woman for that matter - the sort of power we were tossing around out there and they might decide 'Look out world, payback's a bitch!'"  Steve mused somberly.  "People are people, even if they're tossing around icebergs or thunderbolts."

"I'm sure that will be debated in the coming days," Karrie opined. "I do like your thoughts, Steve. It fits what we've experienced so far."

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The three people talked about unimportant details until the evening. Karrie talked about her life in America, her engagement with Brady and future plans, and her family. Questions about her job were answered with the trite, boring replies that had been putting people off asking more for years. Slowly, carefully, she turned the conversation to the others' futures. "So I'm probably be shipping home as soon as possible," Karrie said at one point. "What do you think your future holds, guys?"


"Not a clue." Steve replied, his expression pensive as he looked up from the game of Solitaire he was amusing himself with. "Pretty sure I'm not contaminated or dangerous to the general public, but that and two quid will buy me a pint. The MOD doesn't have a policy on supersoldiers, so far as I know. They might give me my walking papers." It was plain the idea troubled the large Brit somewhat, his expression turning a touch gloomy as he considered the cards on his bed. "Medical discharge, maybe?"


"I think they're going to try to write some policy, really quickly," Karrie said softly. "It'd be a shame to lose your talents just because... The Storm, or whatever they'll call it, happened."


"Also you can fly and throw lightning. What military in their right mind doesn't want that?" Kyria asked with her impish certainty.(edited)

The answer was a snort of amusement. "I suppose throwing away a trained troop because he happens to get superpowers would be daft as fuck, even for a government." He grinned a little, his mood lifting slightly. "Battlefield and smaller unit special operations would both benefit. Yeah, ignore what I said. They'd have to be bananas."


Kyria nodded as if that had always been obvious. "Mmm. Now I want a banana."


"Yeah. I'm hungry too. All the sodding time." Steve replied. "Trying not to think about it."


Karrie nodded. "I suppose that Kyria and I have more options, as civilians." She smiled at the other woman. "Have you thought about what you're doing after quarantine?"


"Getting bananas," came the immediate flippant reply, but the red-head was looking out one of the windows in the gym, her feet on the ground for once. She flashed Karrie a grin, but there was a touch of uncertainty in her eyes. She shrugged. "I don't know. Get a job. File for a legal name. Find somewhere to live, I guess."


"You know, I'd be willing to help with all of that," Karrie said. "I mean, you'd have to do it in the States, but it's a great place to build a life. I've been thinking about getting a roommate. I think you'd be a fun one."


Steve glanced up from his card game, regarding both women. "Might be worth sticking around here, at least for a bit. You were brought into the hospital here - stands to reason you're from somewhere nearby. Once the shit settles down, we can have some folks start digging for missing persons."


"That's true," Karrie said with a nod. "You know Steve, too. I guess I just hoped to shortcut the process of finding someone to trust enough to live with."


Kyria gave Karrie another shrug. "I really know the two of you about the same amount, which is to say about two days worth of anything. And I would be an awesome roommate." Her eyes tracked on Steve for a moment, and she finally shrugged again. "He's right, though. If people are looking for me, they're probably around here. Maybe? I probably shouldn't run away to another continent for a couch to crash on. I wonder how long it would take me to fly across the Atlantic?"


"Well, at the very least the Hereford lads will put her up on base till something more permanent can be found." Steve shrugged. "It's not fancy, but the beers good and the food is hot at least once a day. Speaking of.." He got up and wandered over to the intercom, pressing the button. "Look, I don't want to alarm anyone, but unless I get some scran RFN I am going to go looking for it myself, sunshines." The SAS troopers outside looked at him, considered the look in his eye, then glanced at each other, then one of them turned and headed out of the room. Steve turned back to the two women. "And once we're out of here I'm sure we can do some tests: airspeed and the like." he went on as if he hadn't just threatened mutiny over food. "I'm not too keen on blowing myself around with winds if I don't have to, though."


"Me too!" Kyria yelled after the soldier leaving, then gave Steve a startled look. "Why not?" She sounded absolutely shocked that he didn't want back up in the sky as soon as he could get out from under the stone and plastic of quarantine.


He gave her a hairy eyeball, though the severity was leavened with a faint smile. "Cos it gives me the willies. We're not all cut out to be flying squirrels."


Kyria gave a huff, motioning to Steve while speaking to Karrie. "See? Now I have to stay or he's going to...to....be like that." She threw her arms up in their, "Willies, he says." Karrie could see a look in Kyria's eyes that boded ill for Steve's strict feet-on-the-ground stance, though it seemed mostly good-natured. "Man can throw lightning and smash monsters with a tornado, and he gets willies."


"That's because you have controlled flight, and he's depending on the wind to throw him around properly." Karrie shrugged. "It makes sense to me."


The Royal Marine jabbed a thumb at Karrie. "See? The sensible lass gets it." he teased Kyria. "I don't doubt if I practice I'll get better, but right now I'd prefer to crash into something soft than end up spitting tarmac." He chuckled as he moved across the room to his bed once more.


Kyria grinned and promised, "Oh, I'd catch you before the tarmac. Probably. If I wasn't distracted by a tasty looking nut or something."


"My bleedin' hero." Steve replied dryly as he settled back down on his bed, then shot Kyria a wink.


"Maybe you'd like to come to the States with me, Steve," Karrie teased gently. "Might be safer for your health."


"Don't get me wrong - I love the States. Home is home, though." Steve smiled back. "If I don't get warm beer and cold milky tea at least once a week I start to shrivel."


Kyria snorted and opened her mouth to say something when a contingent of soldiers and PHE peons made their way into the room. One of them was carrying a HAZMAT suit in her arms. The lead man, a suit with a professional if aggravated air, stepped forward as the HAZMAT suit was put in the mid-chamber of the plastic bubble system they were being kept in. "Ms. Sherman, the United States government has made arrangements to have you transported home, despite the dangers this might pose to you or those transporting you." He paused and Karrie realized after a beat that is was to give her the option of refusing, clearly the proper response. He sniffed when she didn't and continued. "Please suit up. You will be taken directly to the Ledbury Airfield and flow out of country from there."


"I understand," she said simply. "I'll do everything possible to mitigate any dangers to myself or others." Except refuse transport home hung unspoken in the air. She turned to Kyria and Steve. "Can I get your phone number, Steve? And yours when you have one, Kyria? I'd like to stay in touch."


"What's yours? That'll be easier than trying to get you mine after you leave." Kyria smiled, but did a look a little unnerved at losing one of her two companions.


Smiling, Karrie gave them both her personal phone number, tearing out a sheet of paper. "If you're ever in the States, do let me know, and I'd love to have you for dinner."


Steve rattled off his home and cell numbers. "Either of those will reach me eventually, luv. When I'm not in a plastic bubble, anyway." He glowered at the man in the suit beyond the airlock. "Plus you can call the CTC in Devon on their public number - messages will get to me that way too."

He smiled as he took the piece of paper from her, nodding. "Sure thing. We'll put up a plastic tent and sit around, talk over the fun times." he winked. "Seriously, you take care."  Impulsively -- rare for her even before the Storm -- Karrie gave them each a hug, then climbed into the mid-chamber and pulled on the HAZMAT suit. With a last wave to her cellmates, Karrie followed the group of soldiers out the door.


Kyria leaned on Steve as she watched Karrie and her gaggle of escorts leave the room. Her tone was more somber than he'd ever heard from her, some sharpness to it. "So, odds we'll ever see her again?"


"Pretty good. Don't figure she'll forget about us." Steve opined. "Not many people just move on from what we've been through, and 'superpowered comrades in arms' is going to be a small and select group, darlin'." He shrugged, then reached up from where he sat and patted the petite girl on the back. "Cheer up, eh?"


"Mmm." She shook her head and said quietly, still frowning at the door out of the gym. "Not quite what I meant."


"Don't think they'll be dropping her out of a cargo plane over the Pond either." Steve chuckled. "She's smart and connected at State, plus has powers. She will be fine."


Kyria sat down next to him on the bed and leaned her head on his shoulder, still watching the door. "I hope so."

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Later that day, the two of them were moved from the bubble.  To a bigger bubble.


Admittedly, it was a very big bubble around a currently vacant officers quarters, a house large enough for two unmarried junior officers to live in separate bedrooms with shared living areas.  The two supers were moved in the evening under blackout conditions, a perimeter of SAS troopers in NBC gear around the men in white Hazmat suits who were in turn around the two suited-up 'guests'.  The transfer was done quickly and efficiently, the pair of them passing through the airlock around the house before removing their containment suits and moving to the front door.


"Oooh, carry me over the threshold."  Kyria suggested with a gleam in her eye.  She'd been somewhat down since Karrie left, alternating between quietly leaning on Steve's shoulder like he was a comfort pillow and restless pacing / flying around their clear plastic cell.  The move was a change, and it looked as though it was for the better, and so had restored her spirits somewhat.  Though he'd actually relished the quieter Kyria, at least for a little while, Steve was aware of her pensiveness and was glad the more irrepressible model was back - kind of.


"I am not cartin' you around."  He remarked, passing his hazmat suit back into the airlock and picking up the two duffel bags of clothing they'd been provided.


"Aww, c'mon!"  Kyria pouted, fluttering blue eyes at the giant grump.  "It's romantic!"


"Sorry, got my hands full."  Steve answered deftly as he held both duffels in one hand long enough to open the door, then defiantly transferred one back to his now-free hand, gesturing with the bag.  "After you, your highness- Oof!"  The 'oof' was from Kyria deciding to jump up and hug her arms around his neck, dangling like a cute redheaded albatross.  The SAS troopers beyond the airlock may have been snickering, but with the NBC masks on it was impossible to tell.  Steve glowered at them on general principle then maneuvered over the doorstep and into the house without incident, kicking the door shut behind him as Kyria giggled.


Once inside, she mercifully dropped off him and went exploring, allowing Steve to drop both duffels on the sofa in the lounge area and pick up the instructions they'd been told to read.


"Says here they want us to keep a food journal." he called, his voice booming through the house as he wandered into the small kitchenette.  A quick glance showed the cupboards and fridge were stuffed with food, with more in the storage closet opposite.  He laid the clipboard with the food journal pages and a pen on the counter.  "Want to monitor our calorie intake, as it seems higher than usual."


"I know!" Kyria said as she flitted from one room to the next across his field of vision.  "I mean, I think I do. I don't remember how much I ate before, but feel hungry a lot!"


"Well, there's plenty of grub here.  And they're going to keep us stocked."  Steve reported as he read, some relief in his voice.  "High calorie stuff, too.  Lots of carbs and protein.  All we need to do is mark it off as we eat."  He wandered back out into the lounge, hefting the duffel marked as his.  "Which bedroom do you want?" he said to the air, not sure where Kyria had gone.  Taking stock, he saw a large TV, a rack of DVDs and a player, and even a games console.  He also noted that there was a weight bench and workout mat on the rear patio, still within the large bubble, and nodded.  At least they wouldn't go stir crazy from lack of activity.  Hopefully.


"Oh, you can choose!" she called back.  "Oh thank god!  A real bathtub!"


"Yeah, officers get the swanky grots."  Steve replied with a chuckle as he headed for the left-hand bedroom.  He was busying himself squaring away his kit when Kyria came flitting in with her own duffel dangling idly from one hand.   As he looked at her askance, the impish girl dropped her bag on the bed and plopped down, sprawling out and stretching somewhat distractingly.


"I thought you gave me the choice." he said levelly after counting to five.  From the gleam in her eyes as she looked at him, he was reasonably sure she had mischief in mind.


"And you chose well.  This bed is comfy!" she said, lips quirking in a smile.  Deep blue eyes met pale blue in a stare of affected innocence.  Steve sighed, and  began repacking his clothes into the duffel, causing Kyria to sit up.  "Where are you going?" she asked with some curiousity, but also amusement.


"The other room." he answered tersely, not looking at her until she burst into silvery giggles.


"I was joking!" she laughed, then added with a wink that was just short of innocent.  "Sort of."  Steve shook his head, sighing.  "Aww, come on.  You don't like me?" she asked with a tilt of her head that was genuinely curious, her expressive eyes concerned.


"God help me, I like you fine, luv.  You're fun, lively, and gorgeous."  Steve replied as he leaned against the wall, arms folded as he regarded her with a smile. "  You're also seem pretty young, though that could be because you're amnesiac.  You might have a fella - or a lass - out there somewhere who's looking for you, and you've forgotten about for now.  You might remember them later, or the government will find them for you, and then you'd regret anything that happens here.  I'd feel like I was taking advantage, for all that you're smart and obviously in your right mind.  I just don't want to make things tougher on you than they already will be."


"I don't like the idea of being alone, though."  Kyria said a little more quietly, regarding him as she considered his words.  "Can't we at least sleep in the same room?"


"That makes it tougher on me than it already will be, Kyria.  I'm not made of bleedin' stone."  Steve chuckled, shaking his head.  "I've not had a girlfriend - or even a date - in months.  Which is easy when all you see is ugly fuckin' Bootnecks every day at the CTC, but the coming weeks are going to be purest damn torture as it stands."  He smiled at her, rubbing his unshaven chin.  "Not much of a compliment, I know.  Blame it on the Special Air Service kicking the shit out of me for the last ten weeks."

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**WARNING**  What follows is a lot of descriptive writing detailing consensual sex between two adult post-human beings.  There will be cussing, exchanges of bodily fluids, playful foreplay and lots of moans, groans, gasps and the like.  If you are sensitive about any of these things, or to the plight of poor defenceless furniture whose only fault was being convenient to have copious amounts of superhuman nookie on, you might want to skip this.

You can do so safely.  Everything past this point is just smut. The end may have some smut-related minor world-building, but nothing that is actually important in the game or that won't be said again somewhere else. For plotsies, Close Quarters is done. This is just NC-17 porn-in-word-format. You've been warned. Twice.


Kyria looked him over with a gaze that was calculating despite it’s mirthful gleam. "Y'know, I don't intend to put my life on hold just because I have a past." She stepped up to him, not touching (but only barely) and gave him as sultry a look as she could while trying not to giggle. The effect was less than helpful. "And why does it have to be lad or lass? I'm not allowed to be equal opportunity?"


He smiled slightly at that, shrugging his broad shoulders as he met her gaze. "None of my business if you are, luv. I was just figuring you'd have at least one or the other." His increased senses were very aware of her nearness, and despite her being most assuredly lovelier than any woman he'd met in the past, he was aware that she wasn't 'out of his league', as the old Steve might have thought. Old Steve would probably have required a few shots of Dutch courage just to talk normally with Kyria in such an intimate setting, at least at first. New Steve, on the other hand, reached out and gently stroked a calloused thumb against the lovely woman's cheek as he met her eyes. "It's going to be a long few weeks." he suggested with a wry grin.


She smiled and arched a brow. "You're the one deciding that."


He half-groaned, half-chuckled. "You've the look of a lass with her mind set on something. And here I was trying to be decent and noble."

"Working on the promotion to prince, then?" she teased.


He laughed then, a rumbling bark of amusement. "Hah! Y'know, that's one good thing about being stashed away in here. I don't have to put up with the bloody 'your highness' jokes you've likely kicked off." Grinning, he gently picked the slender young woman up, his hands on her hips, then turned to seat her on the dresser she'd all-but backed him up against with her smoldering, albeit mischievously so, advance.


"Tell you what." he said, looking at her consideringly. "You think it over and let me know what you want, regarding the sleeping arrangements. Because personally, I'm not going to argue with a gorgeous woman who could probably sling me over her shoulder. I mean, I'd be an idiot on several counts."


She put a finger to her mouth in deep thought. Some thought lit up her expression again and Steve mentally cursed himself for reminding her - repeatedly - that he couldn't get away from her for the foreseeable future. She slid off the dresser and gave a deep curtsey, holding the pose. "Oh your highness, may this lowly peasant share the royal bedchamber?"


The look he gave her was so old-fashioned it had lace cuffs around furniture legs to preserve decency and morals. As she held the curtsey, eyes downcast, he realised that the walking bundle of mischief probably intended to hold it until at least some form of acknowledgement was made. Kyria, repressing a grin, saw his hand enter her field of view, palm up in invitation. "This royal highness sleeps on the left." Steve managed in a reasonable approximation of hauteur, trying not to laugh.


She took his hand, eyes still peasant-wide, "Oh, your greatness, you're so kind." She bounced up in a blink and kissed him quickly, laughing.


"Ack! Peasant germs!" Steve grabbed Kyria, pretending to fend her off, but somehow ending up with an armful of the slender sprite as she wriggled closer and looped her arms around his neck in a grip that, whilst gentle, he likely stood little chance of easily breaking as she stood on tiptoe. He looked into her laughing eyes and gave up - realising that he'd probably lost this fight somewhere around the time she'd sat on his shoulders in the muddy field after fighting the ice giant. So he bent his head down and kissed her, gently at first but then with a definite ramping up of enthusiasm when she didn't pull away.


When she did pull back she asked, "I mean, better than just filling out a food journal for the next however-long, right?"


"Much." he nodded, feeling more alive than he'd felt in a long while. Perhaps it was the super powers - perhaps it was a pretty girl. Perhaps it was this particular pretty girl. Or perhaps a little of everything. He slowly grinned down at her upturned face. "There's worse ways to spend confinement."


"You'll have to lead," she murmured with the closest thing to demure or actually vulnerable he'd ever seen with her, and there was still something impish to it at the end. "I'll need reminders. Lots of them."


"Let's see what I can do to jog your memory." Steve murmured back, gently tracing a finger along her hairline, then down over her nose and lips before kissing her again, more insistently this time, his mouth both exploring and opening against hers. He breathed her in, a large hand gently running through her wealth of red hair as his other arm around her waist pulled Kyria tighter against him.


She leaned against him, losing herself in the kiss and tightening her arms around his neck. Suddenly remembering the sat-phone she pulled back, looking alarmed and drawing a curious expression from the large Marine.


"I'm sorry. I-" she sighed, leaning her forehead on his chest. "Mmm, that is going to be frustrating. I don't want to break you in half just because I forget or lose focus." She looked up him, "Any suggestions?"


His rumbling chuckle made her look up, startled. "You won't break me." His pale blue eyes danced with some amusement, but behind that was a smoldering glance that caused something to knot and unknot delightfully in the slender woman's stomach.


"Oh, you've got a hug and a half, luv. I imagine it'd make most blokes lose their breath. But I've changed too - remember it took that scalpel to draw my blood, and it still needed to be really stuck in there. I'm made of stern enough stuff to handle whatever you've got." His grin turned fierce and a little challenging. "So let yourself go, Kyria. We can see who taps out first."


Her grin took up his challenge and she pushed him towards the bed with a hand on his chest. "You think you can tire me out? You realize I've barely slept since all this began, Mr. Catnaps-All-Day." His knees bent as they reached the edge of the mattress and she leaned over him, her voice low and husky at his ear. "There's more than one way to break a man," she teased. She gave him a Cheshire grin and then kissed him again, all heat and possessiveness now.


He had started a quip, but Kyria's lips locking onto his more or less took the words out of his mouth. Whatever had changed them, reforged them during the Storm had given them increased appetites for food - and evidently other things too. Whether it was the effect of the confinement, the sense of bonding from what they had gone through together, or simply raw attraction that drew them to each other could be debated, but what wasn't in doubt was the surging vitality both felt.


For Kyria, at least, there was no memory of it ever having been otherwise. For Steve, it was thunderous. He'd never felt so alive or turned on just from kissing a woman - it was the hormonal surge of puberty turned up to twelve. His hands slid over her hips, pulling her close to him as he sat on the bed, one hand smoothing up her spine to the nape of her neck and burying itself in her hair, the other resting possessively on the firm swell of her backside, giving it a squeeze as he felt her mouth open against his once more.


She pulled away from the kiss with a vulpine smile just as it really started to ramp up, then trailed her lips down his neck and nipped at his shoulder. He smelled like wind and rain to her, drawing her back into the adrenaline of the fight a few days ago. Knowing she wasn't going to break him like the sat-phone was also pulling at the very small amount of self-control she'd bothered to pay attention to so far. The self-control that kept her from wrecking the world around her every time she touched something. Her arms slid around his sides and she ran her fingers lightly down his back.


"You might want to take your shirt off," she murmured languidly against his curve of his neck and shoulder. "Otherwise you may not have a shirt at all soon."


"Mmhmmm." he murmured back, the sound a rumble of contained desire that she felt vibrate through her as he nuzzle his face against her hair, his breath on her scalp. His hands reluctantly slid from her - with a parting squeeze from the one on her posterior - and busied themselves removing the plain white t-shirt, a task that was made many times more complicated by the fact that Kyria's hands showed no inclination to remove themselves from his torso as it slowly came into view.


Physical appearance wise, Steve had not been changed a lot. Broad chest and shoulders, powerful arms, flat stomach came under Kyria's greedy scrutiny. His muscle, sinew and bone might be reforged into tougher stuff, but he had always been a man of heavy bone covered in large, solid muscle, honed by years of training and combat. Perhaps there was a mite less softness to the edges of him, but there had not been a lot of that anyway. Tattoos, all designed to be covered by full length sleeves, adorned his body and arms along with numerous scars from over a decade of harsh living. As he tossed the shirt to one side, he caught Kyria's hands in his own before they could properly explore, a teasing grin playing over his lips as he met her eyes.


She mock-pouted at him, but the strength she'd shown also meant that if she'd really wanted to insist, she could. Instead she began rocked on his lap, teasing with her legs and hips instead. Her eyes were lidded, pupils blown wide by arousal and utter abandonment to the moment.


"Yes?" she asked mildly, flicking a look to her hands and clearly asking why she was being kept from him.


His grin faded a little as he felt her lower body undulate against his, even through the heavy fabric of his fatigue trousers it was like an electric current shooting up his spine. He leaned forward to kiss her, but now it was Kyria's turn to tease, lifting her head back as her hips kept up that instinctual rolling motion. It was plain the slender woman was an adept student at this kind of playing, and was giving her storm prince a choice: release her hands and continue, or see who broke down first.


Steve might have, at another time, stretched the game out a little more to their mutual enjoyment, seeing who gave way first suited his competitive nature after all. But right now, he released Kyria's wrist and laughed as his hands went back around her, pulling her into another electricity-surging kiss.


She gave him control of the kiss, leading where he followed, as her hands played over his skin. Her fingers traced along his scars, light touches in electric counterpoint to the press of their lips. Her legs wrapped around him, pulling her still-rocking hips tightly against his. The give and take with her fellow captive was a fun emotional tumble to her - like flying but with more skin and less wind. She might have been a professional escort and tightly-wound virgin in another life, but that was then and right now all she wanted to do was feel more of Steve's warmth against her and see if she could tease just a little more restraint away from him. It was so satisfying when he would react to her.


Her hands wandered back to his chest from tracing out the scars on his back and wandered back down the counters of his muscles. She glided them along the line between his bare skin and the top of his cargo pants. She wanted to just break open the cloth and pin him down, but that would take all the tease out of the moment. Instead, she kept tracing that line, back and forth, her fingers dipping just a little lower with each semi-patient pass.


With a tease of his tongue his lips moved from hers, gliding along her jaw line and down the graceful sweep of her neck to where it met her shoulder. He pressed his face there, feeling her move like a flame in his arms against his body, her touch causing everything below his waist to tighten unbearably.  Steve slid a hand of his own under the loose sweater top Kyria was wearing, the warmth of his touch contrasting with the faint rasp of calloused skin as his hand slid up her back, then around and over her ribcage to her breast, covering it entirely and gently moving against her sensitised flesh. His other hand stayed on her backside, flexing gently as it rode lightly in time with her motions.


The emotional landscape was simple for Steve. He liked Kyria, despite his understated cynical grumpiness - which to be fair was also because he liked her. She was also gorgeous and, it was turning out, a lot of fun to make out with. He also liked sex - a lot - and had recently undergone a five month dry spell since a one-night stand with a girl in Plymouth. Which, fairly or not, seemed very tepid right now compared to this. He breathed in the scent of her skin, groaning a little as his mouth opened and he lightly pressed his teeth to her shoulder in something between a kiss and a bite. 


She smelled like Spring and wind to him, her skin downy soft and perfect, without blemish. No tattoos or scars either. Or even, he absently noted as she caressed his cheek, calluses. Whatever life she'd had before, it seemed like a safe, sheltered one from the evidence of her body.  Her hair glided over the back of his hands with the same silky perfection - the red deep and vibrant enough to suggest dye, but if so she'd just gotten it done as it was that same vibrant vermillion from tip to root. She felt just perfect in a way that had a million reasons and still didn't quite grasp the feeling completely.


A shudder went through her at the nip and she let out a started gasp. She nearly did tear the cargo material as her control broke for a split second. She began undulating against him now, the press of her breast against hand in counterpoint to the movement of her hips. The lack of a bra hardly even fazed him - the woman clearly enjoyed teasing him. Was it just him though? She hadn't been this way with the doctors or soldiers, but flirting through a HAZMAT suit didn't seem as satisfying, either. She leaned her head away from him, eyes closed in enjoyment, and bared more of her neck to him.


He took her invitation to heart, trailing his lips and a hint of teeth along her throat, but the sweater again foiled his desire to taste more of her, and with a faint murmur of frustration he began to lift it off her, sliding both hands up along her sides and upwards. Though it meant taking her hands from him, Kyria was eager to oblige, lifting her arms over her head as her body came into view.


As the garment covered her eyes, she fancied she could feel his pale blue gaze, not so cold now, scorching lines along her flesh as she heard him suck  in a deep breath. Steve was indeed staring. She was perfection under his gaze, from the pale softness of her skin to the pink crowns of her breasts, then up the line of her throat to her mouth, all that was currently exposed of her face. A devilish urge took him and he paused in removing the top, gently pinioning her arms behind her head and leaving her unable to see through the thick material.


She felt his chest against hers, the heat he emanated searing her delightfully as he almost-roughly took her lips with his once more. Steve took his time with his blindfolded 'captive', his tongue gently teasing against hers, then withdrawing. His kiss fell next on her throat, gliding down a few steps, then once more leaving her body and causing a small whimper to emit from her parted lips. A pause that seemed too long, then she felt his breath on the sensitive skin of her nipple seconds before his lips touched there, tongue languorously tasting her skin a counterpoint to the faint prickling of his beard.


She whimpered this time, her rhythm faltering as her mind narrowed down to the feel of his tongue on her nipple. Good god, if I didn't do this before, I was an idiot. Sliding her hands free she ran her fingers through his hair, her nails leaving faint lines on his scalp. She'd meant to plan a suitable revenge on him for binding her up, but his switch from nipple to the other robbed her of any half-formed thoughts. She shimmied against the fabric, but only really succeeded in jiggling for him. "Steve," she managed to breath out his name but lost her thought before she could say anything else.


She was aware of his smile against her skin, could feel it and read it in the shift of his lips, and then felt him lift and turn them both, laying her back on the bed with his hand still keeping the sweater over her eyes. His mouth trailed back and forth between the mounds of her breasts, kissing gently to alleviate the rasp of his stubble for a few moments before she felt him move up, his hardness pressing against her through their maddeningly clothed lower halves as he kissed her lips again, urgency causing his heartbeat to thunder in both their ears. She gripped the sides of his head in her hands, returning the kiss with equal tender ferocity, tongue and teeth and lips dancing with his as their hips rocked against one another.


"No rush, love." he said between kisses, the word somehow sounding different from the more familiar 'luv' she was used to. His hand swept down over her breast, skimming across her stomach and now it was his fingers dipping below the waistband of her sweatpants, the tips of his digits drawing little circles on her skin that went lower, and lower.


She arched beneath him and chuckled, "Says you. Also, I have some great ideas."


He took advantage of her arch to kiss the line of her collarbone, then nuzzle his lips against her throat so she could feel his voice as he murmured "I thought this was a pretty great idea." even as his hand slid down further over her mound to cup her sex gently with warm, exploring fingers.


She arched again, trying not to give him the satisfaction of the first actual moan. "Careful. Or you get to replace my sweater." The thought ran through her mind of the two of them without clothes for the rest of their time here. I should hide his clothes.


He chuckled against her throat, a low rumble that was as much desire as amusement. "Some things are worth the price of a sweater." he kissed her as punctuation to that remark, his fingers beginning to probe and stroke with a deftness remarkable for such a large hand, doing truly wicked things with very small movements. Before Kyria could make good on her threat to rip the sweater free, his free hand tugged it off her head, letting her see him smiling at her as he pleasured her.


Her legs wrapped around him and she bucked again. He might have been fine to go slowly - by his definition - but he wasn't the one a hand down his pants. Yet. She nibbled on his lower lip and tugged at them of hem of his cargos. "Worth pants too?" she managed between gasps.


"You'll have to let go for me to remove them." he grinned at her. She bit her lip as his fingers did something down there and gasped, nodding.

"Alright. Break to remove pants in 3... 2... 1..." The pair disengaged, chuckling as they fumbled out of their remaining clothing, Steve's boots hitting the opposite wall hard enough to dent the plaster before his fatigues joined his t-shirt on the floor.


Kyria gave the new dent in the room an amused look. Her own shoes slid into the baseboard on the side of the room, and she winced at cracking sound as the wood splintered. Oh well. Her own pants came off in one swift motion and she snuggled up against him from behind. "My turn." Her arms wrapped around him, hands wandering downward to stroke along his length.


He realised what she was up to a fraction too late to turn back towards her, and once her slender fingers curled around him there was no way he was going to struggle even if he had been inclined. So he leaned back against her as she spooned him, feeling her soft breasts press against his back and her chin on his shoulder as her hand gently gripped, stroked and teased, as much exploring as anything else.

 Kyria read his reactions, heard them in the catch of his breath and felt the tightening of his body under her hand, using the sensual feedback to guide her touch as she kissed, then nibbled his neck in turn, experimenting and testing. She must have been doing something very right, judging by the way he groaned and his hips bucked slightly.


"Fuckin' hell, love." he cursed. "Are you trying to make me lose my marbles?"


She chuckled. "Turn about is fair play, your highness. Don't you agree?" Her fingers teased over his head and she giggled as he bucked again.


"Right, you..." he growled, turning towards her and forcing her to shift her grasp slightly, though Kyria was not at all inclined to let go of her new toy, her lips curved in a grin as Steve's descended to capture them in a kiss, his hands sliding over and grasping her rounded hips.

She slid around in front of him in a deft maneuver he was pretty sure at least bent the laws of physics. She pushed on his chest again, trying to get him back on the bed. She had plans for him.  Smiling into their kiss, Steve allowed himself to be pushed back down, but kept his hands on her body as she slid atop him. As the kiss broke, he arched his brows at her calculating expression.


"Alright, now you've got me. What now?" he asked with a smirk, admiring the tumble of her fiery head of hair as it cascaded over her shoulders and chest.


Hand keeping stead pace, she began kissing down his chest. She grinned up at him as she inched lower and lower. "Oh, no idea whatsoever. Promise."


He kept his eyes on hers, feeling her breath and the ends of her red mane tickling his stomach as she kissed down his torso. He closed his eyes briefly as her breath caressed the end of his shaft, but opened them again, meeting her impish gaze with a challenging one of his own.

 "You look like a girl with ideas to me." he said as his abdomen tightened under her other hand's caress.


She leaned forward, running her tongue over his head and blinked innocently at him. "Who, me?"


"Mmf" The sound was not quite a groan and not quite a sigh, and Steve's member twitched at the touch of her tongue. "I see some things are coming back to you." he murmured, eyes half-closing from the pleasure she was inflicting. "Or are you just naturally fuckin' amazin'?"


"Hmmmm," Kyria murmured as she took the tip into her mouth. After a moment, she pulled back just enough to say, "Must be instinct."

He uttered another deep groan, closing his eyes as her lips closed around him, then opening them again as she pulled back. "Stop playing with your food, squirrel." he mock-growled, heat in his gaze as he looked at her.


"You really want me cracking your nuts?" she laughed, but bobbed her head back down to see just how many more sounds she could pull out of him. For a woman that couldn't seem to play a full game of solitaire without wandering off, she apparently could focus when she wanted to. Her other hand stroked down his inner thigh, tickling at the hairs there.


Now his eyes did shut, his head falling back on the bed as her lips worked their magic, the taste of him clean but unmistakeably male as she explored him further. Steve took deep breaths and thought cold thoughts - freezing showers, shivering in a watery ditch during escape and evasion exercises, Norway's fjords in NATO winter warfare exercises... These all helped but nothing really mitigated the sweet sensation of Kyria's mouth on him, the soft sounds she made or the way her caressing fingers on his balls made his whole groin tighten.


"Bloody hell..." he groaned. "You better get up here before I go off like a bunker-buster, love..."


She hummed a sound that might have been a yes or no, given what he'd seen of her personality. She arched a brow and pulled away just enough to lick him from base to tip, keeping her eyes on him. "Make me."


He made an explosive sound of exasperation and sat up, grabbing her as she giggled and sweeping her up in his arms before rolling them over so he was on top, Kyria's legs naturally finding their way around his waist as her strong slender arms wrapped around his neck.

Their eyes met, a heated stare that crackled between them as Steve adjusted himself against her, rubbing the head of his shaft against her petals in a momentary tease before his hips changed their angle. His lips came down to meet hers in a searing kiss as, to their mutual delight, he slowly buried himself deep inside her.


Her moan was utterly wanton into their kiss, her hands burying his hair. She wanted more. Her legs wrapped around his hips, insisting on that more. Her hips rolled against him. "Steve..." she murmured huskily against  his mouth.


For a long moment his body tautened like a steel hawser as he curled his arms around the arching, moaning beauty beneath him, hands sliding up into her red mane as he clenched his teeth and buried his face against her neck. The feel of her hips moving against and around him and her body gripping his was almost too much and so he tried to anchor himself against the onslaught of sensation, his pulse thundering in his ears.


The knife-edge moment passed, the cresting wave subsided a little and he sighed, breath warm against her neck before lifting his head once more and taking a moment more to study Kyria. Her fingers still played in his short cropped hair, her body still undulated in a sine-like motion as her passion-darkened gaze met his, her lips forming his name.  He needed no further urging, his hands tightening in her hair and arms tightening around her slender form as he began to move in her, slowly at the very first but picking up the urgent rhythm of her need and matching it with his own, the bed shuddering under them.


She didn't fight her own waves of pleasure as he moved inside her. Instead she chased it, little moans escaping from her quicker and quicker as her body writhed beneath him. She raised an arm above her, pushing hard against the headboard. The wood groaned in protest but held - for now.


As she moaned he kissed her again, deeper and more insistent than before, all but demanding her mouth open to his as he delightfully stole away her breath for a long moment. His hands tugged at her hair, encouraging her head to arch back as he released the kiss, his lips and teeth finding the soft skin of her throat in a roughly possessive fashion that made her gasp loudly from the mixture of pain and pleasure. He sped his own movements within her, feeling Kyria's legs clamping around his waist with bone-straining force that would have driven the breath out of a normal man as she chased the eddies and gusts of delight down a long, endless path of rocking, moaning sensation.


She was light and fire, Spring and air, the faint salt of her skin and the glow beginning to suffuse it's pale soft expanse the sunrise over the ocean. Her ethereal loveliness made her not-quite-real, a dream... and yet she was very real and carnal, moaning wantonly in his arms with one slender hand caressing her storm prince's neck and shoulders, fingers digging into the iron muscles and delighting in their unyielding nature. He lost himself in her, allowing the last vestiges of his reserve to blow away in tatters, leaving behind only the gentle fierceness of primitive passion as the headboard beat a bass tattoo with increasing speed against the wall beyond.


Her skin felt on fire as he drove in to her over and over. Toes curling as her pleasure crested into sharp satisfying release, she called out his name again and grabbed at the low top of the headboard. The wood didn't groan this time. It disintegrated under her hand as her body clenched around him and demanded pleasure for pleasure.


Her chest heaved with ragged breaths as her body continued to shudder and quiver. "Mmmm," she let out another low unabashed moan. She smiled up at him with that vulpine look that spoke of both satisfaction and desire that was inhuman in its demands.


He held her as she shuddered through her climax, stilling his own motions and just holding her tightly against his body. As her pleasure ebbed back and her eyes focused on him, his answering smile was playful, tinged with gentle pride in the pleasure he had caused. "More?" he asked rhetorically, for he was already starting to move in her again, feeling the clenching of her walls in the aftershocks of her pleasure as he began a deep rolling, thrusting motion, their gazes remaining locked on one another.


He allowed his own need to dictate the pace more fully now, feeling the storm of his own orgasm building as Kyria's throaty moans began to take on a sharper pitch in answer to his urgency. Lightning flickered in the blue-grey of Steve's eyes and the air began to take on the tang of ozone, static electricity causing his lover's skin to prickle deliciously.


Steve grabbed Kyria's hands from the ruins of the headboard and pinned them against the pillows, capturing her mouth with his in a kiss that caused her toes to curl once more as she felt every muscle in his body tensing, tensing to the snapping point before with a shuddering, spasming crash the wave of his own pleasure came down on them both.  Gasping, his head fell forward to rest against her shoulder as the warmth of his body flooded hers.


She kissed his forehead, tremors still tracing along her nerves in little arcs of lightning. "Yes, more," she finally managed to answer, giggling at the timing and the fact she still meant it, too.


She glanced upward at the ruined headboard and added with a laugh, "Though the bed may be spent."


She felt his laughter shaking them both between his gasps as he got his breath back after the soul-shattering orgasm. "Christ on a bike..." he muttered, kissing her cheek, then looking up at the ruined headboard, chuckling. Still atop and inside her, he rocked from side to side, testing the bed. "Nah, bed's still sound as a pound." he reported. "I might need a few moments, though."


"No, that won't do." Kyria purred, still feeling the tingling aftershocks and not wanting them to fade. She uncurled her legs from around his waist and, without actually lifting him all the way off her, pushed Steve upwards to allow some space between their torsos, enough so that she could slide her legs between them and rest her ankles on his broad shoulders. Half closing her eyes, she made her hips circle counter-clockwise, her walls stroking and gripping him. "Mmm... I told you I had ideas..."


Steve's eyes went wide at the sensations, feeling her bringing him to readiness as she smiled catlike from below him. "Bloody hell..." he managed before groaning. This was new - normally he'd need a ten minute break for some foreplay before getting it up again, even at his randiest. Must be the girl... he thought, looking down at her desire-flushed, slightly smug smile.


"There." she said with a satisfied sigh, feeling him ready again. "Now, if the bed is not completely trashed by the end of this, I'm going to have to find another thunder god." She arched her brows meaningfully, her voice dropping to a sultry electrifying growl. "So, your highness... fuck the hell out of me?" The command was softened by a faint note of pleading as she reached up and ran her fingertips over his chest. "Please?"


"I'm going to remind you you asked for it." he laughed, leaning his weight on her supporting legs as he kissed the inside of her ankle, his blue-grey eyes blazing as he began to move with deep, rolling thrusts, sparing nothing now that he knew her resilience was up to the task. If they'd both been normal, he probably wouldn't have dared be quite so rough on a girl who was so slight compared to him, but Kyria's blood-red hair surrounded her blissfully flushed face as she arched her body to meet his, her initial gasps giving way to loud, rhythmic moans as the bed creaked and swayed under them.


= = = = =


The two scientists were let through the airlock wearing the white hazmat suits.  Obviously expecting the two quarantined superbeings to be still settling in, they walked straight in the front door, sample cases in hand like a pair of particularly disease-fearing Avon representatives.  Seeing no-one in the lounge, they exchanged a glance and headed for the patio doors - when one of them suddenly stopped the other with a hand across his chest.


The other looked askance at his partner, then he heard what the more perceptive scientist had heard.  Loud throaty moans, rising in pitch and volume and speeding up in rhythm.  Moans that were coming from one of the bedrooms, accompanied by the thumping, squeaking noise of a bed plainly being put through far too much stress.


The two scientists exchanged a horrified look that only two middle-aged British men of a certain level of education and class could manage as the moans became high-pitched musical cries.  The junior man tried not to laugh, but the elder of the two gestured very firmly towards the front door.  They left with alacrity, and as they stood in the airlock as it went through it's decontamination procedures, told themselves that the tests could wait until the morning.  At least it would be a different two man team then...

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Kyria bumped the fridge door shut with her hip, laying out the spoils of her chilled hunt: grapes, hard cheese, a summer sausage log, and a large bottle of orange juice. She rummaged for a knife, finding a fully stocked drawer of utensils next to the fridge and a block of steak knives sitting on the counter nearby. Sharp knife in hand, she began slicing cheese and meat with deft, quick motions that would have professional chefs blinking at the speed and precision.


"How's the pantry raid going?" she called out, grinning as she misspoke just enough to lay the joke bare for the blond god of lightning only a few feet from her.


"Soup... Baked beans... aha! Nutties!" Steve crowed triumphantly as he dug the retail box of Snickers bars out of the cupboard, holding it aloft like a naked tattooed Prometheus bearing fire. He tossed a jar of Dijon mustard over to his equally - and distractingly - naked room-mate. She arched a finely shaped brow at him.


"What? I like it with cheese and cold meat."


"Not that. 'Nutties'?" she giggled as he came over and stood behind her, dropping a kiss on her shoulder that tickled delightfully.  Setting the box of candy bars on the counter, he gently rested his hands on her hips and peered at what she was doing.


"Mmm. Chocolate and peanuts. Food of the gods when you're in the field or just come off a belter of an exercise." Steve nodded, breathing in the scent of her hair, then mischievously kissing her ear. "And I'd say we've had plenty of exercise." he murmured in a husky growl.


She hummed an agreement, slicing the last of the cheese and pushing it over next to the sliced summer sausage. Laying the knife down, she laid her hand against his cheek and pressed back against him. She chuckled, "We need better exercise equipment then, we're all out in the bedroom."


"And who's fault is that?" he asked, reaching for a slice of the cheese and bringing it to her lips, enjoying the feel of her nestling back against his body. Though currently satiated by a truly staggering amount of room-trashing sex, the intimacy was still gently arousing.


She pulled the cheese into her mouth with her lips, her stomach growling in protest of how long it had gone without sustenance - hours! - and she gave him an innocent stare. "You," she decided with her puckish grin. "I'm going to say you."


"Is that how it is, hmm?" he took a piece of cut meat for himself, then stacked it with a slice of cheese dipped in the mustard before popping the whole thing into his mouth. "That poor dresser." He said mock-woefully. "That was all you."


"Your body," she countered archly. "Not my fault if the wood couldn't take a push. Or two. Or two dozen. Flimsy construction, really." She watched him pile his not-sandwich together, then tried one herself, but looked mildly disappointed at the results. "This needs something."


"Hmmm." he pondered as he chewed a couple of times and swallowed. "No Granny Smith apples. I checked." He plucked a grape up and tossed it up over Kyria's head, leaning back slightly so it landed in his mouth. "Hah. First time I ever did that with an armful of lovely."


Kyria made a pleased sound at the movement, enjoying the ever-so-slight friction. "Too bad. Though I don't want sweet or tart. Just crunchy." She hadn't said anything about the 'lovely' comment, but her her cheeks were pink and that smile that was always romping around her expression was a little softer for it. She chuckled then as a thought hit her.


"Good thing we've got two bedrooms. And the bed was your fault. Totally." She nodded with the certainty of someone who knew they were lying.


"Nuh-uh." Steve shook his head as he disengaged from the shapely redhead and padded back over to the pantry. "Crunchy... Crunchy... Ah, here." He dug out a packet of crackers and slid them along the counter to Kyria, who fixed him with a look.


"Those were in there?" she asked with a grin as she unwrapped them. "And what do you mean 'Nuh-uh', mister?"


"I mean you told me to, and I quote, 'fuck the hell out of you." Steve replied, leaning one bare hip against the counter and helping himself to the bottle of orange juice, taking a long pull from the container.  “Also threatened to go find another thunder god.”


She put mustard on her cracker and layered alternating meat and cheese on it, munching down happily for a moment. "And how does that make it my fault? You heard it groaning." She stepped up to him, poking him in the chest with her best impression of accusation. "You kept going after the first leg broke off!"


"Well, I was busy. Can't expect a bloke to keep track of details like that." he shrugged, waving a hand dismissively before setting down the juice and reaching around her to grab some more food, 'accidentally' pinning Kyria up against the counter bracketed by his arms as he built his own loaded cracker. "Besides, you were doing that thing with your... you know. Also: shrieking like a howler monkey."


"Mmph," she said intelligently as she shimmied against him, momentarily distracted from the deep and philosophical accusations. "Well, a girl needs to express sometimes. Loudly. And words were hard."


He picked the cracker up, moving it towards himself, when Kyria leaned forward and took a bite that left him a small crescent of his little tower. She gave him a look of challenge over her shoulder as she licked some stray mustard off her lip.  He stared at the pitiful remnant of his snack-stack, then narrowed his eyes at the unrepentant minx before bending his head down and kissing her, sucking gently at the lip she had licked before breaking off the kiss and popping what was left of his cracker into his mouth.  Kyria grinned and laid out more crackers to build up, making a half-dozen at a time now. She gave a breezy little snicker, reminiscing.


"Oh, poor dresser. You fit only for matchsticks now. I think there's a board left from one of the drawers. We could make a little plaque to commemorate it's demise. I don't know that there's that much of the bed left. And you, sir, did rip the hole in the mattress." She nodded gravely at him, holding one of her mass-produced snacks in her hand. "Face it. We're going to beggar the military through sex and broken furniture. It's the new warfare of the future."


He nodded as though this was a deep and worthy consideration of strategic merit, then plucked another of her laden snacks from the counter. "They're going to tell us to stop shagging." he suggested, then grinned. "Fat chance of that happening, though." He chewed in thoughtful silence for a moment or two, regarding Kyria's face with a gentle warmth in his steel-hued eyes as his other hand tenderly stroked her back.


"Mm, backrub," she said, letting out a pleased little sound. She pushed the cutting board and food out of the way and laid her head and arms down on the table. Little goosebumps spread like cold wildfire over her skin at the cold feel of the table against her bare breasts, but instead of moving she just decided to enjoy the shiver and the contrast between the chill tabletop and the warmth of Steve's body.


"Royal backrub, no less." Steve quipped as he grabbed one more meat and cheese-laden cracker 'for the road', then let both large hands stroke down Kyria's back, his fingers splayed wide across the satiny skin. More tiny sounds of enjoyment were coaxed from the girl as the soldier's large hands displayed - not for the first time this night - a surprising amount of intuitive precision on where to press, where to stroke, how hard or how fast to move.


For Steve, it was similarly surprising: lord knew he'd not gotten many complaints about his occasional backrubs or footrubs from past lovers, but he'd seldom felt so connected to the world through his senses, all of which had been operating on '11' since the Storm had changed him. He also had an enhanced awareness of his own body and how it moved, plus of course the whole 'tougher and more tireless' thing.

All of which, whilst definitely being of aid in his chosen profession, were also a plus in other arenas. As evidenced by the slender mischief currently making tiny purring noises and squirming her backside against his groin.


"That's distracting." he teased, letting his fingers graze out and along her sides under the ribs, almost-tickling.


"Mmm," she agreed without changing a single thing about the situation. She was giving little shivering starts when his fingers would find just the right sensitive spot, sending her words stuttering for a letter or two.  "It is d-distracting. And here I a-ah-am, just an innocent girl trying to get s-some food and a backrub."


"Go ahead and eat." Steve said evenly as he continued his lengthy exploration of her skin, sliding his finger up over the nape of her neck and tickling her scalp under the thick hair. Infected with a slight touch of impishness by his companion, he would now and then move his hips so that contact was broken, causing her to make a small sound of protest and wiggle her posterior, seeking the pleasurable warmth of him before he would once more move back into place.


He took a little more time on her scalp, tickling turning to a gentle pressure as he spread his fingers through her hair and then down over her ears, rubbing in little circles before trailing them down over her neck and out along her shoulders.


Kyria had no memory of the world before she was like this, but she surmised that it must have been at least a little different. Either that or if she'd spent her previously life with these appetites - for food, for companionship, for sex, for just being touched - she hoped she’d had the resources and someone like Steve to share them with. His touch was addictive to her, running from rough and calloused to so gentle she was arching against him just to make sure he was still there. Nothing had made her feel so alive in her short memory except maybe barrelling down through a tornado at the ice monster and even then that had been with him.


"Can't eat," she moaned after a few minutes of the scalp massage. "Muscles won't listen anymore." Her stomach did make another grumbling protest at that and she murmured, "Hush you."


"Here." his voice rumbled, and she felt him lean forwards, the movement pressing a certain (now very wakeful) part of him up against certain parts of hers. As he picked up candy bar and unwrapped it, her lover made a slight adjustment that had the result of making Kyria's eyes shoot wide open, then half-close in bliss as his hardness insistently nudged its way into her body once more. As she moaned, he broke a piece of the Snickers off and held it to her lips, crumbs of chocolate and caramel adorning his fingers.


"Got to... keep your strength up." Steve sighed, his own train of thought somewhat derailed at the sensations of her body welcoming and grasping onto him. "So... we're going to have... to do both."


"Oh yes," she said breathily, "we simply...must. No other...earthly choice." She licked the chocolate from his fingers, nibbling through the nuts and caramel as her body sang with appreciation at the sugar. "More?" she leaned her head back, giving Steve a hopeful look and refusing to source her own food while he was so deliciously sunk inside her.


Steve had enjoyed the carnal way she had cleaned off his fingers, even as her hips took up a greedy slowly-rolling motion as she tried to draw him deeper into her. Biting a chunk of the Snickers off, he leaned over Kyria with it between his lips, watching her eyes darken even as a lazy smile curved lips plump and reddened from an excess of kissing.


She tried to stretch up a little to meet him, but the angle was awkward - not least because in order to claim the treat, she would have to slide off her other treat. She whined in the back of her throat as she felt him about to slip out and instead sank back fully onto him, blue eyes glancing up with a mixture of frustration, aroused enjoyment of the game, and pleading.


He acquiesced readily, lowering his head and letting Kyria's lips hungrily lock onto his, tongue dancing as she took the bite-sized piece of candy into her mouth. Steve's free hand curled around from behind to rest on her hip and abdomen as the pair of them began to rock against one another, hungrily tasting each other's mouths.


Her tongue greedily searched for any other trace of chocolate inside his mouth, running over his teeth and licking over his tongue. Steve had a quick flash of her using the same maneuver on parts decidedly not his tongue. She finished with a nibble on his lower lip, giving him a pleased grin when she pulled back enough to see the blissed out expression on the soldier's face. She pulled the hand on her abdomen up, an utterly sinful sound escaping her lips as he found himself cupping her breast. She squeezed his hand, the two of them together kneading the sensitive globe of flesh and he could feel her nipple harden under his fingers. "I'm still...mhm....hungry, Steve," she cooed. "Help me?"


"Next time we get food... we do it clothed." he suggested in a low growl emphasised with a jerk of his hips that caused them both to moan as his free hand slid across to her other breast. He began to set up a more insistent surging rhythm, his body trapping her against the counter, yet he was aware of Kyria's supple feline power as he felt her brace herself on her hands and push back hard against every rolling thrust. He was hungry too, and it was for her, much as he'd tried to keep her at arm's length at first - a fact that viewed in hindsight he realised was him fighting against the inevitable out of sheer stubbornness.


She made him smile, even when instead he'd put on a frown or an air of wry exasperation. And every time she'd draped herself over him, or plopped on him while he was blamelessly napping during their quarantine, he'd wanted little else than to kiss her. He wasn't religious, or even particularly superstitious - at least, not any more so than most soldiers. But he couldn't help feeling a connection between himself and Kyria, despite the fact he'd never laid eyes on her until she'd come flitting out of the storm-tossed night with a smile on her face as though everything was exciting and new.


So he pulled her against him, her back to his chest as the pair of them, breathing heavily, rocked and clung to each other.  Kyria arched against his roughened hands, her own hands reaching up and back to latch onto Steve's neck as a sheen of perspiration made their skins gleam.


"Why....ruin....clothes?" she gasped out as her body shook with each thrust. She tried to laugh, but a rough moan bubbled up instead. She felt on fire, every thrust setting off firework sizzles in her brain and sending her muscles in search of a release. She tried to brace a foot against the kitchen table, but only sent it sliding off away from them; the food they'd gathered scattered like scared peasants in presence of mating giants. The wood vibrated angrily after burying itself in the drywall - Kyria didn't even open her eyes at the sound of the crash.


She didn't want to lose her leverage from her clutch on Steve's neck, but she her body was begging for more sensation - just enough to send her over the edge and give her back a measure of sanity. She let one hand loose and tried to pull his hand in a reverse of what she'd done before, but even the tiny bit of friction lost at the movement drew needy, mewling sounds from her. She couldn't finish her silent instructions before she fastened her free hand back on his neck and thrust herself back down on him with an utterly selfish demand for every centimeter of his shaft.


Her frantic grasping at his hand did not go un-noticed, though it was a torturously long moment before the hint percolated through to the still-thinking part of Steve's brain. He buried his face in Kyria's perspiration-damp hair and swept his hands down her body, over her stomach and abdomen before latching onto her hips with force that would have bruised a normal woman but drew an appreciative feral cry from somewhere deep in her throat.


He set the pace, pulling Kyria's body down and back onto him, his jaw clenching with his own need as the air filled with rasping moans, gasps and the sounds of their bodies coming together. Steve's mouth opened against her shoulder, teeth gently gripping as his tongue tasted the sweet salt of her skin.


The gentle bite elicited a hard slam back on him with her hips and a rasping moan. The bedroom had been fun but they hadn't done this yet and Kyria's fevered mind emblazoned in on her libido as a must have from here on out. He felt her shudder and clench around him but it was fleeting, far less than her usual noisy, energetic orgasms. Then it happened again. Then a third time. Her body began to nearly vibrate as the little orgasms kept coming faster and faster, crashing in together in a frantic frenzy. He felt her knees begin to buckle and her body began to dip downward, but the motion reversed itself immediately. Her knees hadn't locked - instead it was her flight power now keeping her in place instead of unreliable legs


He felt her hunger and need as though they were his own, his teeth finding another spot on her flawless skin to redden as Kyria began to lose control of her body under the barrage of lightning-quick climaxes that seared afterimages across her nerves. Steve's own wave was cresting at the fluttering, spasming coaxing motions of his lover's walls, the intensity she awoke in him burning in his veins like a drug. As he bit her once more, he slid questing fingers around her and down to the junction of their bodies, finding the stiff little center of Kyria's pleasure and rubbing with calloused fingertips as their bodies thundered together.


The stroke of his fingers sent her from moans to ecstatic howls in time with his ministrations. She wanted to hear him scream, to feel those final rough thrusts as Steve lost his self-control at last and surrendered completely to her for just a moment. In all their acrobatic pleasure-seeking, it was that moment that she craved the most. Even as she keened out her own overload of utter abandonment to pleasure, her own submission of her body to Steve's touch and erotic invasion, there was a part of her waiting. A part of her still coiled in anticipation for that reciprocal capitulation to instinct and carnal joy.


When he felt her lean her head back on his shoulder, her voice lifted in a full-throated paean of ecstacy as her body flushed, Steve lost his own scraps of control that were keeping the burning tide at bay. Swearing uncontrollably in a low growl he buried himself in her one last time, arms wrapping around Kyria and holding her tight. Her hands gripping his head and holding it close, she felt his body tauten, his solid arms constricting her delightfully as she arched her back in his embrace, feeling that pulse that immediately preceded the flooding warmth of him deep in her core.


Her feet finally slipped back to solid ground as she let out a languid, satisfied sigh. She turned her head to kiss him contentedly on the corner of his lips while her pelvic muscles continued - now under quite conscious control - to stroke him from within. "I think," she said breathily, "we broke the kitchen, too."


He sagged back against the wall, nodding as Kyria, with a giggle, matched his movement to prolong the moment until their bodies separated. "Bloody hellfire and fucking damnation." he swore softly, if a bit more coherently than his earlier string of profanity, before he laughed and kissed her lingeringly.


"At least the cupboards, fridge and pantry are intact." he observed as his stomach growled, sensing the opportunity to be heard now that it was quieter. He gave her another quicker kiss.  "Quick, let's grab some scran and stuff ourselves before we end up going at it like ferrets again."


Kyria laughed like chiming bells and finally released both of them, scooping the Snickers up from the floor. "Can't go wrong with Nutties," she giggled, tossing him one and opening another for herself.


"I don't suppose we could actually make it through cooking, do you?" Her challenging smirk was just daring him to try.


"Not until one of us is asleep... And I'm not sure even about that." Steve grinned as he allowed himself to slide down the wall to sit bareassed on the floor, catching the Snickers and opening it up before devouring half of it in one bite. "Mmmf!" he gestured, causing Kyria to laugh and toss another bar over.


"I think we might have enough time to heat up some canned stew." he mused as he leaned his head back against the wall, smiling at her.


She dug into her own second-and-two-bites candy bar, and made a face that said 'you can try'. She came over and took up a seat on the floor next to him, putting the box between them. She glanced up at the kitchen window. "Oh, dawn's come," she said with a faint note of surprise. They'd already broken half the bed before sunset. The day before, she thought with a naughty thrill. Well, I guess that's a better way to spend a night, too.


"Mmhmm." Steve nodded as he hummed bass agreement around a mouthful of Snickers, then his eyes widened a little and he chewed a couple more times and swallowed. "They'll be coming to check on us soon. Thank fuck this house is in a quarantine bubble or the whole base would have been on alert." He tried to look stern, but the grin that spread across his features ruined the effect. "Do you think we could quietly nap in the other bed?"


"Tired?" she teased him. He laughed, tossing a balled-up candy wrapper at her.


"I like napping. And I'd like to nap cuddling you. I just want to make sure we're agreed to leave at least one bed intact."


She gave him her best fox-grin and shrugged in agreement, finishing off the Snickers in her hand and debating a third. "So long as you admit you tapped out first."


"Ohhh, is that how it is?" he asked, curling an arm around her waist and pulling her close, nuzzling her sweat-damp hair and tickling her ear with his breath.


She nodded, biting down on the third bar and tracing her fingers over his thigh. "All you have to do is tap out first and I'll let you sleep."

"Okay, that is it. C'mere..." he mock-growled, lifting Kyria  onto his lap and giving the giggling woman  a kiss. “We’ll see who taps out.”


= = = = =


It was mid-morning, and the airlock cycled.  Forewarned by the younger of the two previous scientists, the two man team knocked on the door firmly, rather than just letting themselves in.  They waited for a short moment, then the door opened to show a rather bedraggled head and shoulders of Colour Sergeant Nord.


His face was slightly flushed under the tan, but of more immediate note was the fact he’d apparently been in some kind of food fight.  Chocolate and caramel smears on his chest and one on his face looked for all the world as though someone had daubed him with a Snickers bar and then licked him clean.  Which, the two men from PHE realised with mounting embarrassment, was probably exactly what had happened.


“Oh.”  He said, glancing over his shoulder and then leaning out a little.  “Listen, guys.  Can this wait?  We’re in the middle of a crucial bet and-“


“Oh Steeeeve!” Kyria’s silvery voice was bubbling with mirth.  “I found the peanut butter-“  Her voice took on a sharper, impatient tone then “Who’s at the door?”


“Mormons.”  Steve called back, then grinned apologetically and shut the door in the two scientists’ faces.  Through the HAZMAT suits, they could dimly hear a feminine voice raised in a war whoop.


= = = = =


The next knock at the door came as the late afternoon sun was tinting the lounge golden.  Steve looked up from where he lay on the remaining intact bed, Kyria’s head on his shoulder, noting the time before sliding out from under the arm and leg which she’d cast over him.  Grateful they’d both showered before Kyria had passed out utterly satiated, he tugged the blanket over the still-smiling redhead, kissed her cheek and pulled on some clothes.


“Afternoon, Colour Sergeant.” The base commander - a Colonel – said from inside his HAZMAT suit as Steve opened the door, then drew himself up and saluted.  “At ease, at ease.  I’d like a word with you?”


“Sir.”  Steve stepped out of the way and let the Colonel in without thinking, then mentally cursed himself.  At least the place was tidy-ish – he’d cleaned up the food they’d, ahem, made use of and done what he could to set the kitchen and the wrecked bedroom to rights.  Still, he could imagine the Sandhurst-educated eyebrows raising in critical reproof under the HAZMAT gear as the Colonel looked around the kitchen area.


“I see you’re settling in.”  The Colonel’s voice might have contained irony, but if so it was well hidden and very polite – something Steve had long associated with the better class of officers.  “Tell me, Colour Sergeant – given what I see here, what state is the bedroom in?  Speaking candidly, of course.”


“Candidly, sir, it’s a shitshow.”  Steve admitted.  “One of them is, at least.  We... agreed to spare the other one, sir.”


“I see.”  The Colonel was good – his lips never even twitched, but one does not get to be a Colour Sergeant without being able to sense the moods of senior officers.  “I do not need to remind you, Colours, that this is a house under quarantine and so getting a repair crew in will be difficult.”


“Yessir.”  Steve answered, looking straight ahead and not-quite standing at attention.  He too did not smile – this was not an openly smiling conversation – but as with good NCOs, good officers can tell the moods of their men.


“Also, Steve, I’d take it as a kindness if you and the lass could make yourselves available for the nice boffins from the PHE.  They will be by at ten-hundred hours most days to run their tests.”  The Colonel glanced at the patio doors.  “We’ll be using the rear garden of this place to set up testing equipment.”




“So.  No more wrecking Her Majesty’s furniture, or I will make sure she hears about it before you get invited to the Palace.”


“The Palace, sir?”


“Assuming that you aren’t an NBC threat to life and limb, yes.  You’ve made the papers, lad.  You and the lass-“


“Kyria, sir.”


“Kyria.  Lovely name. Yes, you and Kyria, fighting an honest to god monster and saving lives.  Your name is splashed all over the place now.  I’m reasonably certain the Palace - and Westminster of course - are taking an interest.”  The Colonel turned towards him, studying the large Colour Sergeant.  “National hero – and you’ll probably be accepted into the Regiment too.  Can’t do covert plainclothes work, but there’s plenty of uses for a man of your training and gifts in the Special Air Service.  I thought I’d make the offer before the Frogfoots start screaming.”  Now the Colonel did smile faintly.  “But that is all contingent on you letting the nice PHE boys do their jobs, hmm?”


“Yessir.”  Steve said once more.


“Capital.”  The Colonel made to leave, and Steve went to open the door for him.  The senior officer paused, half-turning and peering out of the suit’s faceplate at him.  “Forgive me for prying, Colours... But I’m reasonably certain that these quarters, whilst being well-furnished – formerly – and well stocked with food and other necessities...”  He coughed.  “Are somewhat lacking in contraceptives?”


He looked at the slightly wild-eyed expression on Steve’s face and managed not to laugh.


“Didn’t think of that, sir.”  Steve managed.  Oh fuck me sideways and rigid.


“Ahh, caught up in the moment, eh?”  The Colonel smiled.  “Well, I’m sure it will all work out for the best, Colours.  Don’t fret too much, hmm?”  And with a pat of a gloved hand on the NCO’s muscular arm, the Colonel headed for the airlock.


He managed to get back to his office before he laughed.



So...much....smut! Anyways. Everyone take +1 XP!


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