BY : Bebe
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 538
Disclaimer: I do not own Andromeda, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Title: Convincing

Author: Bebe

Rating: NC-17

Disclaimer: Not mine. On my wishlist, though!

Spoilers: Minor for the third season.

Feedback: Please send comments to

Pairing: Beka/Tyr

Archive: At AFF. All others please ask.

Summary: When you’re running a con, it’s good to make it a convincing one.

Author's Note: Just playing around with an idea.


Beka was pleased to see that the club lived up to her memory of it. They hadn’t been this way for a few years, but the music was still good to dance to, the drinks were still cheap, and the crowd was still mellow, with neither too few nor too many people at the bar and on the floor.

When they’d arrived, Harper had made a beeline for the bar, saying something about checking to see what they had on tap, while she and Trance had headed for the floor. After a while, Trance had decided to get something to drink as well, leaving Beka to herself. She hadn’t minded; she didn’t find anyone new to dance with, but the music didn’t demand a partner, and she was enjoying getting lost in the rhythm without worrying about someone else.

What eventually drove her from the dance floor was her own thirst, the exertion in the warm atmosphere getting to her. The cold drink felt good in her parched throat, and she drank about half before deciding to find the others. She hadn’t seen them for some time, and while they were smart to the various tricks and deceptions of these places it never hurt to double-check. It only took a minute to find Harper, down the bar and flirting with a brunette. She didn’t give it good odds, the woman seeming barely interested, but she wasn’t about to interrupt if he had a chance, so she just caught his eye before moving on.

Trance took longer. Beka had resorted to circling the perimeter before finally finding her in the back, sitting at a large table with an earnest-looking young Human. Beka vaguely recalled seeing him coming in as a reluctant tag to a bigger group, but now he and Trance were alone and talking animatedly. She was reluctant to interrupt, but Trance gave her a smile and a wave as she drew near, so she stopped long enough to check in before moving on.

She could have just drained her glass and gone back to dancing after that, her crew accounted for, but she decided to check on Tyr as well. Not that she had to. He was, after all, supposed to be the babysitter for her crew. Sometimes she wished Dylan would get over the idea that they needed watching out for, always sending along Tyr or Rommie if he couldn’t come himself. Tyr at least faded into the background or simply focused on his own interests while he was supposed to be watching theirs.

Circling farther around the room brought her within view of the Nietzschean, leaning against a column in a spot that afforded him a good view of both the exits. He was, however, not watching any of them at that moment. Beka was surprised and more than a little irritated to find his attention focused on a lanky Human teenager, one who was draped over him and clinging to his bare forearms.


He didn’t look comfortable or pleased, his whole body held tense and his head back, not tilted forward in his usual intimate manner of conversation. He looked like he wanted her away, something confirmed by the shake of his head after the girl’s mouth moved. If Beka had to guess, she would say that he had just refused an offer of some kind, and given that it was Tyr that offer was probably carnal, especially with him appearing Human himself now. She waited a moment longer to see if that was the end of it, but the girl didn’t give up. She went up on her toes, higher than ever in her tall heels, and leaned more heavily forward on his arms as she spoke again. Beka hadn’t thought it possible for Tyr to press any harder into the column, but he managed it nonetheless as his mouth shaped a definite no.

It was surprising that he hadn’t pushed her away by now if he wasn’t interested, and he definitely didn’t seem to be. Frankly, she would have been surprised if he were, with his history of not being interested in Human women— theoretically— or teenagers— as far as she knew. Concerned now, Beka took a step forward.

That seemed to put her within the range he could watch while talking to the girl, or at least the range he was worrying about. No doubt he’d already seen her with his peripheral vision, but now he looked right at Beka, his eyes wide and apparently pleading.

For Tyr to look for assistance… She walked forward until she could actually be heard, crossed her arms carefully to avoid spilling her drink, and demanded, “What is going on here?”

The teenager barely glanced at her, and dismissively at that. This close she looked even younger, and Beka had to quell the urge to ask her when her last good meal was, seeing how skinny her wrists were. The urge quelled a little faster with the response. “None of your business.”

“Oh, I think it is, especially since he’s told you no at least once.”

“Four times,” Tyr supplied. He didn’t look any less nervous now and still seemed to be trying to merge with the column.

“And you’re what, his babysitter?” She sneered. She actually sneered.

Beka weighed her options quickly, wanting to get rid of this girl. Mostly for Tyr’s sake, but she was getting a little annoyed herself at this point. It may not have been the best choice, but she answered, “His girlfriend, actually,” suspecting that would have the best chance of dissuading the girl. “And I don’t do threesomes, so get lost.”

She assessed Beka, with an expression of utmost disdain. “You haven’t been with him.”

“He didn’t feel like dancing. Go.”

The girl rolled her eyes and looked back at Tyr. Beka couldn’t hear what she said to him, but his eyes widened even more. With a final flounce the girl let go of him and teetered off to the bar. Beka watched her go before turning back to Tyr, amused to see him relaxing more with each step away. She was a little surprised his shoulders hadn’t left marks in the column, with how he’d been pressing against it.

The girl was still watching sullenly through the crowd, and Beka decided that she needed a little more discouragement. She went over to Tyr, her arms still crossed, and hoped that it looked like she was annoyed at her significant other considering another woman. Obligingly, Tyr began to look nervous again as she came to a stop in front of him, her feet planted between his. “She really wouldn’t take no for an answer, would she?”

He blinked. Maybe he’d thought she really was mad at him? Not that she was sure why. “She was… more persistent than most, yes.”

“Why didn’t you just push her away?”

“Ordinarily I would have.” His eyes flicked over to the girl and back to Beka. “However, there was an incident here several years ago, I suspect at least some of the local law enforcement may remember, and I doubt she would have taken physical rebuff lightly.”

Beka considered this, then nodded. “Fair enough. So now I guess I’m stuck with you the rest of the night.”

“That…” Tyr hesitated. Again, he looked over at the girl. She was still watching them from the bar when Beka did the same. “That… would be appreciated.”

“All right. I wasn’t having any luck anyway.” She gulped the rest of her glass. “So I’m going to stay nearby and dance some more. You don’t have to dance, but try to look interested. I’ll keep checking in case she comes back. Deal?”

He hesitated again, then nodded.

“Good.” She gave him a flirtatious look and turned, setting her glass on a nearby table before walking back to the dance floor. She made sure to put a little sway into her hips and was gratified, when she looked back over her shoulder, to see Tyr watching her intently. The girl at the bar was watching as well, but her interest seemed more piqued.

It was easy to get caught back up in the music, and Beka had to force herself to keep an eye on Tyr as she danced. She did start to wonder eventually if she really needed to, as the girl hadn’t come back at all. Still, she’d agreed, and Tyr at least seemed willing to hold up his end. He hadn’t moved from that spot since she’d walked away, and every time she looked over he was watching, definitely seeming interested. If she didn’t know better… But she did, and so she shoved away the tiny quiet little hope that he actually was. She did still find herself being deliberately enticing in the movements she made, but didn’t even try to police that; he was, after all, her “boyfriend” for the night, and wouldn’t she be acting like that for one anyway? So she continued to dance, checking every so often, until she did once more and he wasn’t there.

She slowed to a standstill. He would have let her know if he were leaving, she thought, and she knew she was looking in the right direction. She had just taken a step toward the edge of the dance floor when she felt a hand settle on her waist. “Hey—!”

That was as far as she got before Tyr said behind her, “I decided to join you.” The hand was joined by another opposite, and she relaxed a very little as Tyr drew her back against him, his solid body familiar from the gym.

She was still miffed at being grabbed, though. “A little warning would have been nice,” she told him, resting her hands on his.

“I apologize.”

“Aw, that didn’t hurt at all, did it?” She glanced back over her shoulder as she said it, hoping the flip comment gave the impression that she hadn’t gotten a jolt at the words grazing her earlobe.

“Hardly any pain to notice.” And while the words were deadpan, he was smirking! Between that and the slight tug of his hands pulling her closer, she did wonder for a fleeting moment if he’d been drinking and she hadn’t noticed. But this was Tyr. “A little closer, please. She’s still watching and it would behoove you to look interested in me.”

“I could just pretend to break up with you,” Beka suggested, and smirked herself at his apparent dismay before adding, “or you could just look more possessive.” She turned back after that, deciding that she’d said enough, especially at that uncomfortable angle.

He still seemed to take her seriously, his fingers flexing under hers to get a firmer grip and edging her close enough that her back brushed against his chest. Either he had actually been paying attention to her movements earlier or he adjusted to her rhythm quickly, because they fell into step almost immediately. Or else they just naturally moved together that well… But no. Not now. Maybe to think about later. For now she was just going to try to stay close, enough to look convincing, to just barely touch but no more than that. It was still enough for her to feel his warmth.

They stayed that way through more than one song; she wasn’t paying enough attention to know how many exactly. Once she glanced over at the bar, wondering about Tyr’s admirer, and found her still there but apparently not watching them anymore. Beka almost said something, but at that second Tyr leaned his head forward as if he were about to whisper something to her, his breath teasing the skin of his neck, and she let it go.

“I believe our observer has transferred her attention,” he told her, just loud enough for her to hear. “But it might be wise not to assume that.” She nodded in response. He was still acting, then. Probably. Like she was.

She still reacted when his hands moved to her hips— not quite a jump, but more than a twitch. He must have noticed, his fingers stilling, and she cursed herself. That wasn’t how she’d react to an actual partner and they both knew it.

After that it was almost a relief when the next song dropped to a slower tempo, not just a distraction from the awkwardness but something she knew how to react to. She did accordingly, twisting in Tyr’s arms so she faced him, letting his hands run over her belly and back as she did. He seemed confused; she said, “Different music style,” and left it at that, enjoying the bewilderment and taking full advantage of it to indulge herself. Beka pressed her own hands to his abdomen and pushed them up over his leather-covered chest. She rubbed slowly over his shoulders before coming to rest over the back of his neck, then stepped forward, bringing them flush and closing his fingers around her lower back.

He relaxed some when she stopped there, more when she started to sway. Again he fell into step quickly, adjusting to her rhythm, and she wished fleetingly that it wasn’t fiction. She must have let some of that show, as he gave her a questioning look. She shook her head, not even trying an explanation, and he let it go. She may have imagined him pulling her a little closer then.

She did not imagine his hands beginning to move. He began tracing up her spin and back down again, sending shivers rippling over her skin in reaction even at the lightness of the touch. He had a small, not-quite-smile on his face as he did so, probably at her response. Even the disapproving look she gave him didn’t stop him, not that she could keep it from wavering again at the next movement. She didn’t want it to stop anyway, really. Even if it was all for show, it felt good, with the thin fabric of her shirt doing nothing to prevent her feeling every drag and pause of his progress.

The next dipped, just barely, beneath her waist, and she was torn over asking him to stop. It was, after all, what she’d expect a significant other to do, and they were going for realism. On the other hand, the barely-appropriate contact was getting far too real for her. Before she could decide, his fingers trailed down again and settled on her hips, the tips splayed out to cover the outer curve of her rear. This time he definitely did pull her closer.

She made her decision: to play back and see just how far he’d go after that display. She not only let him tug her, she went up on her toes, as close to him as she could get. The amusement was immediately gone. “What are you doing, Tyr?” she asked, trying to look and sound as seductive as possible. “Just pretending?”

He watched her lips move, seemingly fascinated, and a beat passed between her question and his response. His “yes” was obviously belated, but he followed it quickly with, “Aren’t you?”

“Of course.” They’d slowed till they were barely moving at all. The song had switched again, but she ignored it. Instead of dancing again, moving off the floor, turning around, she stretched up just a little bit more to kiss him. In for a penny, after all… She aimed for the corner of his mouth deliberately, intending for their observer— if she were still observing— to assume more from her vantage point. But then Tyr turned his head. She thought it was intentional.

And then she forgot about stopping. 

She sought his mouth, eagerly, and he did the same. His hands tightened on her, not letting her get away, but she couldn’t have complained even if she’d wanted to, as her hands were curving around the base of his skull to keep him where she wanted him. The kisses were liquid fire through her, heating every cell in her body, and she needed more.

Tyr obliged. Pretend or not, he kissed her again and again, parting her lips and demanding more himself. His hands slid farther down, outright cupping the flesh and holding her there, pressing against his groin. Show or not, it was affecting him, too.

The kiss broke only when someone knocked into them. They both stumbled at the contact, letting go of each other, and when Beka looked to Tyr he seemed to be doing the same pickpocket check as she. It did seem to be an accident; the dance floor had grown more crowded since Tyr had joined her and nothing was missing. Beka took that second to catch her breath.

The kissing had been… intense. She hadn’t expected Tyr to let her kiss him, let alone kiss her back, even if it was just a masquerade. And the way she’d reacted… It had been quite a while since a simple kiss inflamed her quite that much. She wasn’t sure if it had hit him quite the same way, but at least physically he’d felt something, judging by what she felt when he pulled her close. Even now he looked calm at a glance, but the way he was watching her… And his breath was coming shorter and faster than she’d seen, except maybe in the gym or at a run. He’d seemed more relaxed in some firefights.

That hadn’t been a kiss, that had been spontaneous combustion.

It wouldn’t be any use trying to talk on the floor, so Beka gestured to him to follow her. She headed back to the pillar she’d seen him at initially, just to get out of the center of things. There was no sign, when she reached it, of Tyr’s admirer. She turned to tell him so, to let him know he could lay off the charade if he wanted to and give him an out, but she never got the chance.

She’d barely opened her mouth when he was kissing her again. She might have made a surprised noise, but didn’t really know or care. One step back, two, and she was mimicking Tyr’s earlier position, her back against the support, and a support it abruptly was as her knees weakened. She slid her hands up again, back around his neck, and his were at her hips and moving down. This time around was even more heated, something she wouldn’t have thought possible before. She wanted— needed— him to touch her everywhere. He was certainly trying, his hands pulling her to him again before sliding up under her shirt, fingers against bare flesh, and she shivered and tried to press even closer.

His mouth left hers, but before she could protest he was moving down her throat, and the urge to argue disappeared. She moaned instead, wanting him never to stop how he was kissing and nipping at her skin, but he did anyway when he reached the edge of her shirt. The frustrated growl shocked her back into reality. “Tyr, stop,” she managed, albeit breathlessly, pushing at his chest.

He edged back, though he didn’t let go. He seemed very… focused, his eyes again on her mouth as she spoke. “Do you…” She fought to find words, her mind fogged by the contact so far. “We should… Maybe we should go.”

“Why?” He had slid his hands to her shoulders, thumbs now stroking her throat in a way that made it hard to concentrate.

“To look convincing?” And, more realistically, though she didn’t suggest it, to either cool off or pursue this. She wasn’t sure which would be the best choice, though she knew which she wanted.

He stared a moment longer before nodding. When he stepped away, he let a hand trail down her arm to capture her fingers. She didn’t object.

They’d gotten halfway to the door when Beka stopped short, telling Tyr when he looked back, “I need to tell Trance or Harper we’re going.” He let go of her hand and gestured her onward, though it seemed to her that the letting go was reluctant. He did follow her when she set off for the bar.

She found Harper first, as he was still where she had left him. She didn’t fill in more than the basic information, that she and Tyr were going back to the ship, in the hope that he wouldn’t ask questions. Instead, before she even finished, Harper slid off the stool he’d been warming. “I think I’ll go with you. I’m not having any luck tonight either. Lemme finish this and then we can tell Trance.” It was good that he immediately turned away to drain his glass, as she couldn’t prevent the look of sheer irritation from crossing her face. She’d been hoping for a private walk back to the Andromeda.

Fortunately, Trance hadn’t moved either and was quickly found. Unfortunately, as her new friend’s friends were planning on moving on to another club, she decided to join the group going back rather than staying. By the time this was decided and a hasty conversation had to determine whether she would be meeting the new friend in the morning, Beka was on the verge of bouncing up and down with impatience. She wanted out, she wanted at least semi-solitude depending on Tyr, and she wanted to not have time to overthink the idea of scratching that new and persistent itch. All of this was not helped by Tyr hovering closer to her shoulder than usual: not enough that the others would notice, but enough that she would and not be able to think of anything else. When they finally left with Trance and Harper, he very casually just happened to brush his fingers over her tailbone as she turned to follow them, bringing all her nerves to instant attention even with that little. He had a perfectly neutral expression on his face when she looked back over her shoulder at him, but he was focused south of her back. She couldn’t help feeling a little smug at that.

Beka tried to contribute to the conversation Trance and Harper were having as they all walked, just enough to not seem odd, but it was hard to concentrate. Tyr was still following her just a little more closely than usual— she could feel him watching her— and her own body was reminding her forcefully and frequently of what had transpired already. The walk back to the ship seemed a lot longer than the walk from it had, and she was relieved when they at last reached it.

As soon as they had all crossed the threshold, Tyr left the group, setting off up a corridor without even a backward glance and quickly out of sight around the curve. Beka blinked at the abruptness of it; had he had second thoughts after all?

Harper’s low whistle caught her attention. “Wonder what we said to offend him?” he asked, looking after Tyr.

Apparently she wasn’t the only one to be taken by surprise at the departure. “Beats me,” she said with a shrug, trying to be casual about it. “Might not be you, he was pretty eager to leave anyway.”

“Maybe. Anyway,” he looked back at Beka, “wanna join us for the movie? Popcorn, too.”

“Nah, I think I’ll turn in. I’m getting tired.”

“Yeah, sure, miss a classic for sleep, we know you’re just trying to get rid of us.” He grinned. “Your loss. Night.”

“Have fun.”

“We will. See you at breakfast!” Trance started skipping up the hallway, forcing Harper to jog to catch up. Fortunately they weren’t headed in the same direction Tyr had gone.

Beka decided to follow him, though. Even if she didn’t catch up with him— assuming he’d be waiting for her— that corridor was the shortest route to the Maru from that airlock. He wasn’t just around the curve, as she’d hoped, but she kept going. Just as she reached the first cross-corridor, Tyr stepped out in front of her and she stopped short. “Oh!”

“I thought you’d follow,” he said quietly, and reached for her. Again his hands on her shoulders, the thumbs tracing gently on her skin, but this time he seemed a little unsure. She didn’t let him wait long; instead she edged forward until they were flush against each other, rested her own fingers at his waist, and looked up at him expectantly.

Taking it as the permission it was, he kissed her. Demandingly now: if his approach had been tentative, his actions were not. Quickly the heat between them built again, as if they had never been interrupted. He dropped his hands to her hips, tracing her curves as he did, and she shivered at the caress against the sides of her breasts and pressed closer, yielding to his pull. In turn she slipped her arms up to his neck, keeping him at her lips, though she doubted he’d pull away now. Not with that low growl he made when she bit at his lip…

His grip shifted downward, lifting her up to press her more firmly against his groin, and she knew she made a tiny noise at both the movement and the new sensation but she didn’t care. She let herself be lifted, wrapped her legs around him when he turned them to pin her back to the wall, and this time the noise she made was an outright whimper as he ground their bodies together and left her mouth for her neck.

Kissing, sucking, he made his way down to her shoulder, and she didn’t think she’d ever been more grateful for a low-necked top as when he set his teeth against her skin. The nips on the already-sensitive nerves had her digging her nails into his skin to keep him there, though he didn’t seem to need the encouragement. He actually growled when she arched against him on one particularly well-placed bite, and the sound and vibration made her cry out.

Immediately his mouth covered hers again, one hard kiss, and she remembered where they were. When it ended, she gasped out, “Privacy. The crew lounge—” and this time the kiss seemed less silencing than grateful.

He let her down after that, though her knees felt a little wobbly under her own weight. She was surprised when he caught her hand when she turned toward the nearest crew lounge, even the small contact sending a little thrill through her. Again the short walk seemed unbearably long. Twice she paused and drew him into a kiss again, unable to resist that much even with the promise of more not that far away. Both times he reciprocated, if briefly, and it was harder each time to pull away.

At last they reached the door to the crew lounge, and she hit the door access with one hand while using the other, the one he still held, to pull him into the room and another kiss. She surfaced just long enough to demand privacy mode once they’d crossed the threshold, and that seemed to be a signal to him to take it further. Immediately his hands dropped to her waist and started working at the fastenings. He was surprisingly deft, given that she was currently exploring his mouth with her tongue, which had to be distracting. Within seconds he had them undone and was easing his fingers in, and she gasped when he found the dampness there.

Deciding that turnabout was more than fair, she started working on his clothes, too, glad that he’d chosen not to wear the leather jumpsuit today. It did wonders for the visuals when she was around, but she didn’t want to fight it now. Once he moved his arms out of the way, the pants he was wearing were quickly undone, and she forgave him for pulling those wonderful fingers away once she pushed the leather back over his pelvis.

He was tantalizingly hard, hot and solid under her hand. When she pressed her thumb to the tip of him, there was already a drop of moisture, and he groaned and thrust into her hand when she rubbed there. She didn’t even try to prevent the smile at his reaction. It didn’t last long, though, as he returned to kissing her and started to walk at the same time, dislodging her hold on him. He was steering her, she realized, toward the small sofa. She let him.

This was not the largest of the crew lounges, so it was only a few steps, easily covered, though her pants slipping down over her hips didn’t help. She didn’t notice Tyr having any difficulty, but his mouth was distracting enough that she may not have realized it. When the back of her legs hit the edge of the cushion, they stopped, and she broke the kiss to turn them around. It was not quick or easy, one of his hands having drifted back between her legs, but she did. Once she had his back to the sofa she tugged at his clothes, edging them just a little farther down his legs before pushing at his hips.

He got the hint and miraculously enough obeyed the signal to sit, but not before crushing her mouth with a kiss. She hated to lose those wonderful fingers, but soon… Her own clothes had already slid enough that it was only jerking her own boots off that took any time at all. And then she was straddling his legs, wanting him, needing to do something about the fire running wild just under her skin.

He obliged. His hands went back to her hips, his fingers spraying over the curve of her rear, and he pulled her forward until she could feel him, blunt and thick and pressing against her wetness. She shivered at the pressure right where she wanted it, and then she couldn’t resist at all, resting her own hands on his chest and sliding down.

She bit her lip at the feel. He outright groaned, and the deep, pained noise went straight through her; she couldn’t keep from clenching around him. He jerked up into her, probably in direct reaction, his eyes closing briefly as he did, and she gasped in turn. “Tyr—!” He looked at her again, intent, seemingly in actual pain. Taking mercy on them both, she started to move. He appeared more than willing to accept whatever she gave, his hands still on her hips but barely even guiding her as she rode him.

But, oh, he watched her. The rise and fall of her body over him, her breasts in the different rhythm of her breath even though they were still covered by cloth, her lips when she licked them in their sudden dryness. The fascination, the heat in his eyes stoked her higher, and she moved faster, trying to ease the burning need. It was wonderful, but nowhere near enough, especially when his grip tightened. The nails digging into her skin, the twinge of pain mixed with the pleasure, was almost more than she could bear. Beka kept one of her own hands where it was but let the other drift down his body to where it joined with hers.

She was slippery there, sensitive to even her own touch, and he groaned again when her fingertips brushed against his shaft. He had to be close, rocking up into her with every movement now, but so was she. The fire of her arousal was fanned now by his need as much as her own, the pressure inside and out driving her higher and higher until it overtook her completely. Another wave, then another, this time triggered by Tyr’s own shuddering orgasm, until she was weak with pleasure and desperate for air.

It took time for the sensations to subside, both of them clutching the other and breathing hard. When they finally did, she found herself at a loss for what to do or say next. Tyr, underneath her, was silent as well. His forehead, what she could see of his chest, were sheened with sweat. He was studying her even as she did him, seeming faintly confused. By what exactly she wasn’t sure.

When his hands finally moved from where they’d slid down to her thighs, she tensed, waiting for him to lift her off, to push her away, so he could wash away the touch of a mere kludge. She was surprised and strangely relieved when he instead just rubbed over her bare legs. The slow, soft touch was oddly reassuring, despite the reminder that she was half-naked with Tyr, of all people.

Finally she couldn’t take the silence any longer. “I’m impressed by your dedication to realism,” she told him, dry humor being the best option she’d been able to muster under the circumstances.

To her surprise, he laughed. “You were… very convincing.” He paused for a moment, though he didn’t stop his hands. The tension she felt eased some with his response, but returned immediately when he asked, with a shade of a grimace, “I perhaps should have checked earlier, but I assume you have some method of contraception?”

“Yeah. You don’t have to worry about crossbreeding.” She didn’t quite manage to keep the acid out of her words. The hurt at prevention being his first concern had taken her by surprise, even though she should have known. Good enough for sex when he was worked up, but nothing else?

He seemed taken aback. By the bluntness of her statement or by something else? Whatever by, he seemed to phrase his next sentence more carefully. “I was under the impression that you were taking that step because you would prefer not to have children at this juncture. Am I wrong?”

“No,” she admitted, then bit her lip for a moment, wondering if she should say what she was thinking. It came out anyway, though she couldn’t look him in the eye when it did. “It would probably make a difference if I did, though, wouldn’t it? Because I’m not Nietzschean and we’re not supposed to have done this, you’re not supposed to. This is… pointless, isn’t that what you said?” Finished, she was able to look up again.

Another pause, but he still didn’t stop the motion of his hands, nor did he look away. Eventually he did answer, quietly and deliberately. “Nietzschean culture generally holds the view that cross-species breeding is pointless, yes. And whether that applies or not, it would be unwise for either of us to intend to conceive a child under our current circumstances. I was, however, aware that I was taking that risk well before I asked.”

“So why now?” Not the question per se, but the sex, now rather than two years ago, when there was an initial attraction, or twenty years in the future, when she was well past childbearing age.

“Circumstances change.” He didn’t quite meet her eyes for that one, but he did when he clarified, some, by continuing, “It has been made abundantly clear to me of late that I appear Human. I would be interested in… taking advantage… of that fact while it is an option.”

“Taking advantage how?” She was not willing to let that broad description go undefined.

He shrugged. Despite the studied casualness of the gesture, his words were serious. “Sexually and, ideally, companionship. Not as a permanent arrangement.”

Her eyebrows went up. “Dating?”

“That… would be the Human term. There is no real equivalent in Nietzschean culture.”

Beka just stared for a moment. Of all the experiences, the conversations, she’d expected tonight, this was not one. It had never been one. And the absurdity of negotiating relationship terms out of the blue like this, much less in their current position physically, was not lost on her. At last there was only one thing she really could say.

“I guess I was convincing?”


The End

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