Shieldbrothers: The Bonding

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 7300
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.

Chapter 8: Shield Brother


Harper tightens his grip on the small, red duffle bag as the door to Tyr's quarters slides open at his touch. All his belongings aren't in the bag, of course. The rest could be moved in later. Tonight, his duffle is a token of good faith and an implicit commitment. Like Tyr setting the door to open at his touch. Harper hovers cautiously at the threshold. One step over and he is fully committed to this shieldbrother's thing. Can he do it? Can he overcome his past and walk into the future? He can see Tyr silently watching him from across the room, standing in the shadows of the dimly-lit room. The candles arranged around the room send flickers of light and shadow playing over the curves of the Nietzschean's hard muscles. He could turn and walk away and Tyr will remain standing right there. Tonight, he must make the first move, the first promise by stepping into that room.

Harper looks around from his position on the threshold. The last two times that he'd been in there, he'd been completely focused on Tyr and not the room. Now that he's going to be sharing this space with Tyr, the room is taking on a sudden significance. It's simple, clean lines are enhanced with richly sensual fabrics and textures. Ranks of candles march in geometric formations around the room -- on tables, along the counter and in metal stands of twisted, fantastic shapes in varying heights. The tall and short candles are intermixed, forming a secondary geometric pattern within the main pattern. There are also combinations of color – gold, bronze, copper. It's plain that his lover has put considerable time and effort into arranging a romantic ing.ing. That's reassuring. Harper looks back at Tyr who is standing near his bedroom entrance, solid and still as a mountain. He wears bronze colored leather pants and matching gauntlets on his forearms. His long braids are swept over his bare shoulders.

All this can be his and all he has to do to claim it, is to take that first step through the doorway. Harper relaxes his grip on the red duffle and walks inside. His shoulders stiffen as the door slides shut behind him. He still isn't completely certain of what's going on here and what exactly he has just committed himself to, but there is one thing that he wants to make absolutely clear. Harper holds his head high and defiant. "I am not a fuck toy."

"I never presumed so." Tyr's velvet voice soothes from the shadows.

"Fine. Good." Harper nods sharply. He will be respected. He wants that clear. He might be a younger partner in this relationship, but he will not be an unequal one. "Just thought I'd get that out of the way up front. Right away."

"You have done so."

Harper takes a few more stiff steps into the room, looking around and trying to pretend that the source of his nervousness isn't standing right there next to the bedroom. He has never been good with this stuff. What is he supposed to say? He can't think of anything that doesn't sound idiotic. He bends over one array to candles and sniffs. He can detect only the faintest traces of a juniper like scent that makes him think of mountains and forests. "Ah, nice candles. They look really…good."

He swings his duffle as he looks shyly at Tyr. He never thought that he would see the day when he would agree to share close quarters with a Nietzschean. Never thought that he would be able to stand being in the same universe with them after what happened on earth. Now here he is agreeing to cohabit with one. He can hardly expect Tyr not to go all Nietzschean here. That would not be reasonable. But those bone blades – he isn't sure if he can ever get used to them. He has to try. He knows that. They are part of who Tyr is. Still after all that he had gone though on earth, he can't help but see the bone blades as threatening. He knows that Tyr has noticed. The Big Guy seems to notice everything about him. Then there is the little matter of that Pride that Tyr is always scheming for. Where will he fit into that? Does he want to fit into it? The idea of living with a Pride of Nietzscheans is mind boggling even for the Harper. "So is this the point where I ask where to store my stuff?"

"You'll find room to place your belongings in our bedroom."

"Our? Our…bedroom." Harper smiles. That sounds…nice…right. Our bedroom. He can get used to that.

"Yes."

He'll worry about the Pride thing later. There's tonight to deal with first. Harper takes a few steps closer to the bedroom, watching Tyr watch him. Tyr remains completely still as if he fears any motion will spark a panicky dash for the door. Really, there's no need for Tyr to watch him like that. So he might be feeling a little stressed. So there is a very large Nietzschean in the room...a very large Nietzschean who, he suspects, intends to get up close and very personal in a way that he's never willingly experienced before tonight. Harper takes another step closer. "Alrighty, then. I'll just go put my gear away."

"Take your time." Tyr turns his head, watching over his shoulder as Harper carefully eases by him.

Harper walks into the bedroom. Okay. He's here. He can almost feel Tyr's deliberately neutral gaze on his shoulders. Now to make settling in efforts and prove to Tyr that he is here to stay. Harper glances sidelong at the bed and looks quickly away. He isn't ready to think about bed-related stuff just yet. He turns his back on the big bed and tosses his bag on the floor, busying himself with unpacking. Harper reaches in the bag and comes up with a handful of the loose wildly colored shirts that he likes to wear over his tees. He heads for the closet. There is Tyr-sized stuff hanging in neat rows and then a row of Harper-sized shirts similar to the one that Tyr had given him. The shirts are mostly shade blu blue with a few other colors thrown in. Harper grins. So Tyr likes to see him in blue – he hadn't known that. It's something to keep in mind. He hangs his old shirts next to the new ones. Feeling more at ease, Harper dives into his duffle again. He yanks open a drawer at random and stuffs it with his collection of tee shirts. They look odd nesting with Tyr's chain mail vests and silk cords. He hesitates over the next drawer, adding a few pairs of his cargo pants to cozy up to Tyr’s exercise clothes. He quickly dumps a handful of underwear on top before he loses his nerve. There. All done. Harper turns to meet Tyr's guarded gaze. "Okay. Tyr…I'm out of my element here."

"There is no need to rush, Harper."

Harper hunches his shoulders. What's he supposed to do now? He's brought an official moving in bag. He's officially unpacked and mingled his clothes with Tyr's. He's present and accounted for. He's even standing in the damned bedroom. The Harper is here. Now what? It isn't like he does this every day. In fact, he's never lived with a lover before. He's too fond of having his own space.
Okay. When in doubt, go on the offensive. Seize the day. Take charge. Harper walks boldly out of the bedroom and playfully slaps Tyr on the ass. "Honey, I'm home."

Tyr catches Harper's hand, brings it to his lips and kisses the palm. He rubs his cheek and his beard against it. "Welcome home."

Harper shivers, his stomach rolling with the pleasurable clench and quiver that happens whenever Tyr touches him. He can feel brain cells shutting down already. Standing this close he can see the hot amber smolder of Tyr's eyes. He looks away. He doesn't feel ready for that just yet. A little evasive action seems called for.

"Got anything to eat in this joint?" Harper walks over to the cooler. He peers in and his grin widens as he sees his favorite drinks. Alright – Sparky Cola and his fave brew, Neu Bayren Weissbrau. His tense muscles relax at more evidence that Tyr has noticed what he likes and cares enough to provide it. He grabs a beer and opens it. He really needs this tonight. He needs to get very relaxed. All the manuals that he'd studied stressed the importance of being completely relaxed. Just thinking about what Tyr probably expects to happen tonight is making him tense up again. Harper takes a long, desperate drink. Maybe that will drown out the memories clamoring in his head. "Thanks for the…for this."

Tyr walks softly toward him, stopping next to the big bronze suede sofa. "Since you seem to operate on a mixture of adrenaline and caffeine, I thought it best to lay in a sizeable store. A sort of…homecoming gift."

"Aww man, I didn't bring you anything." Harper takes another drink.

"Yes, you did," Tyr replies softly. "You brought me…you."

Harper blushes and looks down at the bottle in his hand. "I don't know what to say."

"There is no need to say anything." Tyr replies as he holds out his hand. "Come, sit."

Harper hesitates, then he takes another quick drink, and walks over to the sofa. He sets the bottle on the table and drops down into the suede depths, looking uncertainly up at Tyr. "I thought you would drag me into the bedroom as soon as I walked in."

"Why would I do that? This is not…you are not…a shore leave fuck, or a one-night-stand, Harper." Tyr sits down, still keeping his movements slow and easy.

"I don't understand."

"As you so succinctly put it, you are no one’s 'fuck toy'. Understand this, Harper…I will not rush you…or ask you to do anything that you do not agree to." Tyr reaches out and takes the human’s hand. He slides his fingers, soft and slow between Harper's, watching as the human's eyes widen and darken.

Harper stares down at their linked fingers. Such a simple gesture, yet so intimate, as well as a promise of things to come. An icy shiver tingles down his spine at the thought, at the memories that are trying to rise in his head. There are things that Tyr needs to understand about him. Harper glances sidelong at Tyr. "There're a few things about me that you need to know. When I was on Earth…I lived in a hell populated by the Magog and Nietzscheans. I was so full of fear and hate. I…I…"

"You don't have to say anything, Seamus."

"You called me 'Seamus'." Harper blinks. He looks inquiringly up at Tyr, eager for any excuse to change the subject. "Are you mad at me? No one ever calls me that unless I'm in big trouble. So, are you angry?"

Tyr shakes his head. "You know that I am not. Please. Continue your story."

Harper glances quickly at the bone blades lying nestling sedately in the leather gauntlets and then away. "I just need you to understand how big a deal this is for me, okay?"

"I am listening."

Harper looks down at their links hands. Then he stares openly and deliberately at the leather gauntlets. He has to get used to the bone blades and accept them if he is going to set up housekeeping with Tyr. He slides his hand free and places it on the gauntlet. The leather is smooth, thick and cool under his hand. His voice lowers to almost a whisper. "The Nietzscheans on Earth were brutal. I never saw Ubers…Nietzscheans…as anything other than slavers, tormentors, rapists..."

Tyr inhales sharply. "Were you ever raped?"

Harper drops his eyes. He can feel the leather gauntlet shift slightly as Tyr's bone blades flex. "Yes. Yes I was. I'm damaged goods, too, Tyr. I'm not…"

"You survived earth, the Drago-Kasov, the Magog. You've fought by my side on more than one occasion. You are not damaged goods." Tyr raises his free hand to cup Harper's chin and turn the human’s pale face toward him. "Look at me. Don't ever think of yourself in that way again."

Harper rubs his cheek against Tyr's hand. He holds Tyr's amber stare as he runs his hand more boldly down the bronze leather gauntlet. Harper slowly unfastens the gauntlet and removes it, exposing the one feature that brands Tyr as Nietzschean…the bone blades. Harper moves his fingers over each of the blades, carefully avoiding the sharp, serrated edges and points. To his surprise the bones feel cool and heavy, sort of like marble, as they stir under his touch. He strokes his fingertips lightly around the base of the blades, only to jerk his hand away as Tyr growls and the blades suddenly extend completely. Did he hurt Tyr somehow? Harper stares, wide-eyed at his lover. "I'm sorry, I just wanted to know what they felt like."

"No harm is done, Harper. It feels very, very…good." Tyr leans back against the couch, breathing quickly. His eyes are dark and hot as he stares at the human.

Harper's crooked smile reappears. Maybe he can work up a little enthusiasm for the bone blades after all, if touching them has this effect on Tyr. "It does? Whoa…good to know. May I?"

"Yes. Please." Tyr's voice is hoarse as he offers his other arm.

Harper unfastens and removes the second gauntlet. He strokes his palm over the dark skin, exploring the hard muscle of Tyr's forearms. As his fingers ease further down, closer to the bone blades, Tyr moans softly and his hips shift restlessly. The Nietzschean's eyes half-close as Harper lightly circles the skin at the bases. Dark chocolate nipples pull into tight, hard beads as Harper alternates with firm and light strokes. Harper grins. This is fun. He hasn’t even tried to get creative and Tyr is breathing hard and fine tremors are running through the powerful muscles. Oh, yeah. He is now willing to admit that bone blades might have their uses. If his fingertips get this kind of reaction, how will Tyr respond to being licked there?

“Harper...have a care…” Tyr warns roughly as he leans closer. He's on the verge of cumming right there, watching his shieldbrother's fingers touching him so intimately and feeling the soft, provocative circling at the bases.

Harper looks up, focusing on the full lips hovering above his own. He leans up, but he can't get close enough to actually make contact. Is Tyr teasing him? "Are you going to kiss me now? Cause if you are, I don't think I'll be able to think any more. If your lips touch mine I'm going to go on a major mental meltdown, system overload, core meltdown…"

'Shhh," Tyr whispers. He leans down, closing the tiny distance.

Harper moans as Tyr's soft, full lips envelope his. His hands slide up the warm skin of Tyr's muscular arms and around the Nietzschean's neck as Harper presses closer. He feels as if he is melting into Tyr's heat as Tyr's arms close, hard and possessive around him. Harper tenses as his lover growls and Tyr's palms move down his back, eagerly heading toward his ass.

"Whoa…ho…ho…big guy." Harper pulls abruptly away. He doesn't know if he can let Tyr do...that. Just the feel of the extended bone blades against his back and those big hands curving around his ass set off the clamor of ugly memories again. He grabs his beer and heads toward the kitchen area. "Let me catch my breath…'kay?"

"Talk to me, Harper." Tyr leans back against the couch, his hands firmly planted on his thighs. His bare chest rises and falls quickly as he breathes. His dark eyes are glazed with passion.

Harper settles against the kitchen counter with his back to Tyr. He should say something to Tyr. Apologize. Something. Anything. But the words lock in his throat every time he thinks of trying to explain. He hunches his shoulders against the painful memories. How do you put something like that long ago incident into words? He doesn't even like to think about it, much less try to say it to someone that he values. Harper takes a long drink, trying to find his nerve again. His beer is warm now, but who cares? He puts the bottle down and presses his handst ont on the counter on either side of it. He stares fixedly down at the bottle. He can't look into Tyr's eyes and talk about this. "I've never…been with a man…before. The only time was…back on Earth…when I was…"

"Assaulted?" Tyr slowly rises from the couch.

"Yeah."

Tyr hovers on the edges of the kitchen area. He wants to close that distance and cradle his shieldbrother protectively in his arms, but the haunted, lost look in those deep blue eyes warned him to approach with caution. They do not have to do anything tonight if his shieldbrother prefers not to. It's enough that Harper has agreed to move in with him. The rest can wait. Perhaps he has been too eager to have Harper with him. If waiting will help Harper, then he will discipline himself to wait as long as the human needs. "Perhaps we should not have made this move so hastily. You need more time."

"No! I want this." Harper turns and forces himself to meet Tyr's eyes to allow the Nietzschean to see that he means it. He has had plenty of time. What happened had been years ago, but he had never had any reason to face and fight the memory instead of denying it and shoving it away. Now he had ample reason to face his fears. "I want YOU. It's just that…"

Harper's gaze drops to the floor. How to explain without making himself sound weak? He knows how Nietzscheans value courage. How is this sounding to Tyr? His usual fund of fast patter islingling him. Harper leans back against the counter, clutching the edge so hard that his knuckles slowly turn white.

"You're afraid I'll hurt you. You think I will abuse you like those other Nietzscheans…that I'll force you." Tyr takes a cautious step closer.

Harper glances quickly at Tyr and then away. What is Tyr thinking? It's hard to tell with the dark face and velvet voice held so sternly to complete neutrality. Only the Nietzschean's amber eyes reveal anything; the fire in them is still there, but banked back to a control smolder instead of open flame. Harper can feel his shoulders and back stiffening up as Tyr eases closer. He bites his lip and looks away, determined to hold his ground. He will not allow his past to rule his future. Maybe his fears about the idea of penetration will ease once he's done it with Tyr. He's loved everything that he and Tyr have done together, but nothing that has been as threatening, as flat out scary as the thought of allowing Tyr to do that. "Yeah."

"This can wait Harper. It's more important to me that you are here…sharing this space with me." Tyr runs a finger along the human's jaw, encouraging his shieldbrother to look at him.

"I don't know what to say."

"Say nothing…just feel." Tyr settles his hands lightly on Harper's waist and eases the human closer, into the warmth of his body. He brushes his lips tenderly across the blond spikes.

Harper spreads his hands over the tight muscles of Tyr's abdomen. The skin is soft and warm under his palms. He nuzzles the wide chest, inhaling Tyr's comforting scent. He knows what Tyr wants from him, what Tyr is hoping for tonight. He wants it too. Wants to give it to Tyr. Wants to see the pleasure reflected in those beautiful eyes. And yet, the idea of it is so frightening...it'd hurt so bad when...and afterward...no, he isn't going to think about that. He refuses to think about that. He hugs Tyr tightly, clinging close for a long moment. Harper pulls back a little and turns in Tyr's arms to pick up his beer and takes a long drink. He can feel the beer hitting him, making things fuzzier, easier. He needs to stop thinking and just feel. Just concentrate on the sensations. The heat of Tyr's bare chest against his shoulders. The sensual brush of the long braids. Harper turns his face into the long fall of black braids and presses a kiss among the strands. Ummm. Tyr smells so good.

"Harper."

"Yeah?" Harper shivers as the Nietzschean's soft breath brushes over his nape.

"Relax," Tyr whispers.

Harper closes his eyes as Tyr's big hand closes over his nape. The grip is firm, yet tender. A silent reminder that Tyr has never hurt him. Harper presses back against the touch. The controlled strength of Tyr's hand is reassuring. He gasps as Tyr's hot mouth closes over his dataport. Harper arches back against the Nietzschean's hard body as Tyr's tongue delicately traces the circle of sensitive skin.

"Tyr?" Harper asks as the Nietzschean's strong hands stroke down his chest, pausing to rub his nipples into tight beads through the fabric of his tee shirt.

"Mmmhmm?" Tyr rumbles, smiling against his shieldbrother's throat.

"Whatcha doin'?"

"Petting you."

Harper tightens his grip on his bottle, panting as one of Tyr's hands slips lower, raising the hem of his tee shirt to circle his navel. He looks down, watching as Tyr's hand flattens against his stomach and ever so slowly inches downwards, slipping under his waistband to cup his swollen cock. Harper cries out, dropping the empty beer bottle on the counter. There is only sensation for him now. The rasp of Tyr's beard against his throat. The damp pull of Tyr's mouth as the Nietzschean sucks his skin. The soft rub of cotton over his nipples as Tyr continues to caress his chest with one hand. The smooth fingers dancing, feather light over his cock. The barely there glide of Tyr's thumb over the sensitive head of his cock. Harper squirms under his lover's teasing hands. "More."

"Mmmm?" Tyr smiles, nuzzling the blond spikes.

No matter how hard he tries, he can't quite ignore the discordant feel of those cool, hard bone blades moving against his bare stomach. Harper twists slowly around to spread kisses over the velvet skin of his lover's chest. He whispers against the dark nipples, "Feels good, Tyr."

"We'll go slow," Tyr promises huskily as he lifts Harper onto the counter and presses in between the human's legs. His full lips nibble temptingly at the lines of the human's mouth.

Harper parts his lips, stroking his tongue over the velvet heat of Tyr's. He moans, pressing closer wrapping his arms around Tyr's neck and tangling his hands in the long braids. His legs tighten urgently around Tyr's waist.

Without breaking the kiss, Tyr tightens his arms and backs away from the counter, cradling Harper against his chest. Tyr carries his lover into their bedroom.

Harper pulls back from the kiss and looks around, eyes widening as he registers the change in location. He strokes the long braids back and looks into Tyr's face. "Promise me…that it won't…you won't…hurt me."

"I can't promise that there will be no pain, Seamus." Tyr dusts a gentle kiss over Harper's lips before drawing back to meet his shieldbrother's troubled gaze. "I will promise that I will be as gentle as I can."

"Just take it slow, okay?"

"We are doing this together. We'll go as slow, or as fas you you like." Tyr stops at the foot of the bed and sets Harper on his feet. He kneels in front of the human, lifting the tee shirt to nuzzle the pale skin of Harper's stomach.

"Oh, man…"

"Sit…let me take your boots."

Harper drops down on the bed and waits as Tyr removes first one boot, then the other. He reaches out and captures one of Tyr’s long braids. Harper draws it through his sensitive fingers and smiles. He's always surprised at how soft Tyr's hair and skin are. Somehow, he never expects someone as big and dangerous as Tyr to have anything soft about him. Harper grabs a handful of braids and pushes them back from Tyr's face. "I've dreamed of your hair."

Tyr looks up at him, amber eyes bright with pleasure. A faint smile ghosts over Tyr's full lips.

"Oh shit…did I say that out loud?" Harper stares back, his blue eyes wide. He hadn't meant to reveal the erotic dreams that had driven him to make tharst rst tentative signal to Tyr.

"You have?" Tyr leans forward and pulls Harper to him. "I've entertained dreams of you as well."

"Oh, yeah? Bet you're just achin' for The Harper Love." Harper flashes a nervous grin as his hands move over Tyr's hard forearms, tracing the tight lines of muscle. His fingers accidentally press against the base of one of the bone blades and Harper tries to pull back in alarm as Tyr's eyes go dark, hot and predatory. A low, dangerous growl rumbles in his ears.

"Oh, shit!" Harper scoots out from under the Nietzschean and springs to his feet. He glances uneasily at the open doorway.

"Harper…" Tyr bows his head over the edge of the bed, his big fists knotting restlessly in the cover. Finally he looks up, amber eyes hot and bright, behind the veil of hair. He pulls himself up onto the wide bed and lies there, muscles coiling and uncoiling as he fights for control. After a long moment his breathing smooths and evens out. His bone blades slowly settle back. Tyr rolls over on his back and settles himself against the pillows piled at the head of the bed. "…I'm…sorry. You have me at the…edge of my control."

Harper stands near the foot of the bed, glancing covertly from Tyr to the entrance to the bedroom. The relaxed, fuzzy feeling that the beer had given him is gone, scared away by Tyr's unnerving intensity. Harper smoothes the hem of his shirt back down as he eyes Tyr warily. Should he crawl back up on the bed and try again? Can he do this? Or has he just been fooling himself?

"Come," Tyr's orders hoarsely, holding out his hand. His bone blades are pressed flat against his forearms.

Harper takes a step forward and hesitates. He can see the immense effort Tyr is making to stay under control and while he appreciates it, he is also wondering what if Tyr does loose control? And he isn't being fair to Tyr, getting the Nietzschean all stirred up and then backing off. "Maybe this…maybe I should…"

"Please…come lie with me." Tyr lowers his hand. Hurt flickers in his beautiful eyes.

Harper slowly crawls up on the bed and stops halfway up. He lightly touches Tyr's thigh with a hand that shakes only slightly. His fingers knead the supple, softness of the leather pants. He manages a faint smile. "Nifty pants."

Tyr remains completely still. "Thank you."

"Tyr…I want to be with you so bad that I can't see straight," Harper confesses in a rush. "But, I'm scared too. I'm scared you're going to hurt me, or toss me aside, or 'sever ties' or whatever. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, or say, or anything. I mean Mariyam's here, and your sons, and everything that seemed so simple a few days ago is like shot to hell, and what am I supposed to think or do or feel or…"

Tyr sits up and presses his fingers lightly across Harper’s lips. "There's only the two of us in this bed…in this room. Don't worry about the rest."

Harper kisses Tyr's fingers. "But I gotta worry about it. I mean, if this is like a summer romance…or a temporary thing…"

"It is not."

Harper studies Tyr's face, hopefully. "It's not?"

"No."

"Oh." That 'no' sounded satisfyingly firm. Harper eases closer, very aware of Tyr watching him, of the deep hunger gleaming in his lover's eyes.

"You are not a casual bedmate." Slowly Tyr reaches out and touches Harper's waist. His fingertips lightly trace the human's ribs through the shirt's cotton fabric.

"I'm not?"

"No."

Harper leans closer, feeling Tyr's hand slide around to stroke his back. He flattens his palm against Tyr's stomach, smiling as he feels the muscles clench tight under his hand. Harper pushes lightly and Tyr falls back against the pillows, the long braids spreading out around the Nietzschean's head. The sultry look in Tyr's eyes make it clear that the movement is an invitation. Hmmmm. Good idea. Maybe he won't feel so panicky if he's on top. He'd certainly enjoyed having Tyr sprawled beneath him in the gym. Harper shifts to straddle Tyr’s hips. His hands glide over the rigid muscles of Tyr’s stomach and upwards to trace the lines of the Nietzschean’s chest. "What am I?"

Tyr moans and presses into the human's caressing touch. "You are my shieldbrother…my lover…my chosen mate."

That sounds good. Really good. He wants this. He does...he just hadn’t thought that it would be quite this hard to surrender to Tyr. Harper bends to kiss his way up the center of Tyr’s chest. Waiting isn't going to make this any easier. He wants Tyr and he's going to have Tyr. Maybe once, this first time is past, it will be better. Being Tyr's shieldbrother is worth a few risks and some pain. "You're being so patient with me…I just want you to know…I appreciate it."

"I know you do." Tyr moans.

"Yeah, let me show you."

Tyr frowns. "Show me?"

"Stop talking...just watch, okay?"

Tyr nods as Harper straightens and grins down at his lover. He sways in sensual rhythm to imagined music as he grabs the hem of his shirt. He teasingly raises the hem and then allows it to slide back, only to raise it again as he slowly inches it higher each time. He tosses back his head, swaying as Tyr's hands slide up his spread thighs. Harper pushed his shirt higher and pulls it over his head. He grins at his lover's avid stare as he sends the shirt sailing over his shoulder to the foot of the bed. Harper spreads his hands caressingly over his chest, holding Tyr's wide gaze as he circles his fingers lightly over his peach nipples. His hands glide lower, settling on his waistband.

"Remember, Harper, as slowly as you want it." Tyr squirms against the cool sheets. Where had Harper learned to dance like this? His gaze skims hungrily over the silken paleness of the human's chest, lingering over the tight peach nipples. He can almost taste them against his tongue. His stare drops to the flat stomach and his breath catches at the delicate line of fine gold hair glinting in the light as Harper's eases the zipper down. Tyr inhales sharply. If he'd known earlier that Harper had choosen not to wear boxers tonight, it would have been even harder to control himself.

"I know."

Harper takes a deep breath and spreads the flaps off his pants wide, revealing more bare skin and gold curls. He bites his lip as Tyr tentatively brushes fingertips across the golden cloud. Harper sways into the caress and then away, giving Tyr a provocative look as he slides his pants lower, baring the pale curves of his flanks. A blush warms his face as Tyr's fascinated stare greedily roams his body.

"You are beautiful, Seamus." Tyr touches the cool skin of the human’s waist, enjoying the supple flex and sway as his shieldbrother writhes sensually above him. His hands tremble with the need to pull the human down to him, beneath him and claim his mate completely. He dares to ease his hands a little lower, stroking his fingers over the uppermost curve of the human's ass.

"Beautiful? Me?" Harper smiles, bemused that someone as absolutely, knee-wobblingly glorious as Tyr would rate him beautiful. A wash of pleasure rushes over him, warming his skin. "I'm just a skinny little kludge from a backwater rock?"

"Don't call yourself that. I don't ever want to hear you call yourself that again."

Harper can feel himself tensing up again as Tyr's fingers graze his cleft. He stands up abruptly, balancing on the bed and trying to look casual as he continues dancing. He shimmies invitingly as Tyr tugs his cargo pants lower, baring his hips completely and sliding the pants down his legs. Harper steps out of his pants and snatches them back up, holding them in front of him. He poses playfully in an effort to hide his tension and throws his pants across the room, exposing his swollen cock to Tyr's hot stare. "I learned this move from a table dancer on Kalahari Drift."

Right. One more item to go. Harper bit his lip as he looks down at his lover, at the eager hands sliding possessive up his legs as he balances astride Tyr. Only one last layer – Tyr's leather pants – between him and his nightmares, or his dreams depending which side of his subconscious he sleeps in. Harper looks down at the leather pants molding Tyr’s hips. The last barrier. He drops back down to kneel over Tyr's thighs, running his fingers over Tyr's waist just above the leather pants. Harper drops a kiss just above the waistband. "Off. Those have to come off."

Tyr shudders and moves his hands to the fastenings, but Harper bats them playfully away. "No. Allow me."

Harper unties the laces, allowing the leather cords to slide slowly through his fingers. His eyes hold Tyr's dark amber stare. As the laces slide free, Harper delicately traces the swollen outline of Tyr's cock as it presses against the leather. Tyr half closes his eyes and arches with a throaty growl.

"Soon…soon." Harper whispers the promise, looking up at his lover through his lashes as he kisses the rippling muscles of Tyr's stomach. He looks down at the tight pants and shakes his head in mock disapproval. "I'm gonna need a little help here. Lift your hips."

Harper smoothes the leather down as the Nietzschean's hips arch toward. He moves down, pulling the leather all the way off. He drops them off the foot of the bed and flashes a grin at his lover. "Ya know, Tyr. Getting you out of these is sort of like peeling a Denali Palm fruit."

Tyr laughs huskily and opens his arms in welcome as Harper crawls back up, cuddling agains him. He threads his fingers through the human's shock of blond hair as he smiles down into the bright blue eyes. "I cannot imagine my life without you."

Harper grins, his eyes dancing. Oh-ho. It's payback time for all those "annoying little man" comments. "I grew on ya, didn't I? I went from being that 'annoying little man' to being…"

"My mate." Tyr curls possessively around his shield brother's cool body, sliding his leg over the silkkin kin of Harper's flank as he sinks deep into the human's mouth.

Harper moans. He feels almost overwhelmed by giddy sensation. The thick, damp heat of Tyr's tongue filling his mouth. The heavy-muscled thigh rubbing restlessly over his hip. The velvet hardness of Tyr's cock nuzzling against him. The warmth of the big hands gliding possessively over his back. Tyr moves lower, nuzzling Harper's throat and chest, sucking on the peach nipples.

"Ohhh…so good, Tyr..." Harper's head falls back, cradled on Tyr's hard bicep. His eyes close in pleasure as he feels the velvet heat of Tyr's thick cock rubbing urgently against his. He writhes in response, pressing closer, forgetting everything, but his need until he feels Tyr's thigh easing between his. Harper inhales sharply but remains, clinging close to his lover and yielding to the gentle touch that urges his thigh to curl over Tyr's flank. The Nietzschean's hand slides down his thigh and curls between, pausing to explore the weight of his sac before venturing lower still. Harper gasps, his eyes opening as his body tenses apprehensively.

Tyr's amber gaze holds Harper. His eyes are hot and predatory, but there is a silent plea for trust in the depths as well. He whispers,
"Shhh…shhhh….shhh..."

Harper closes his eyes and presses his face into Tyr's wide shoulder. He concentrates on forcing his muscles to relax. His reward is a gentle nibble on his earlobe and then the hot swirl of Tyr's tongue circling his dataport. Harper gasps and clutches Tyr's shoulders as the Nietzschean slides lower, trailing kisses over his chest and licking his nipples. His stomach muscles tremble and clench as Tyr scatters damp kisses over the sensitive skin and retraces the route back up to lavish kisses over his chest again. Harper squirms needily against the Nietzschean. "Ummm…feels s'good."

Harper stirs, uneasily aware of the solid hardness of Tyr's thigh pressing firmly between his, nudging the fullness of his balls. He runs his hands over the powerful muscles of Tyr's shoulders as the Nietzschean shifts postion, pulling him closer and urging his thigh higher around Tyr's waist. Harper curls his arms around Tyr's throat, twining his fingers in the long braids as the Nietzschean kisses his shoulder. This isn't so bad. Nothing like what happened on earth. Harper tenses slightly as Tyr's hand curls around his thigh, tracing the line of it to the swell of his hips. Harper shivers as Tyr’s strong hand curves possessively around his ass. This is Tyr. It will be okay. He arches with an inarticulate noise as a creamy dampness is stroked softly over him. It feels strange to have his lover's fingers gliding down his cleft, tracing the damp in slow narrowing circles and then one finger pressing gently inside. Harper tenses, tightening his muscles in a brief, instinctive resistance, before forcing himself to relax again. He presses his face against Tyr's shoulder, breathing in his lover's comforting scent as he slowly adjusts to the strange invaded feeling. He can do this. He will do this.

He gasps, stiffening again as a second finger eases inside. He feels so full, so invaded and it's only two fingers gently stretching and stroking him. Tyr's cock is so large...what will it feel like when the Nietzschean thrusts inside him? Harper sets his mouth in firm, determined lines. Whatever it's like, he will endure and betray no pain. The rest of what they have is worth this, and if this is what Tyr needs, well, he will be the one providing it. No doubt, he will become accustomed to it in time. Harper wiggles tentatively. The slow stretching feels...odd. Not bad exactly. Not good exactly. But it's starting to feel...interesting. He squirms again as Tyr's fingers leave him for a moment. The cool dampness smoothes over him again, and this time, the fingers press in with more ease. A sharp bite on his shoulder distracts him as a third finger eases in. Harper lies very still, panting as his ass clenches around the intruding fingers. He feels far too full and yet...it's not unpleasant.

Harper turns his head, blindly seeking his lover's mouth. He opens his mouth, yielding to the pressure of those lush lips. A shiver moves through him as Tyr's tongue alternately fills his mouth and retreats in a sensual rhythm, echoing the slow thrust of Tyr's fingers in and out of his ass. Harper squirms, pressing back against the probing fingers. He feels Tyr's fingers slipping away and then something much larger and hotter pressing insistently against him. This is it then. Harper pants. He is wholly aroused, but still half panicked now that he can feel the wide head of Tyr's thick cock nudging against him. He trembles as the head parts him and slips just inside as Tyr growls against his throat. He can feel the big guy’s muscles shivering with the effort to go slow and easy as Tyr slides a tiny bit deeper. Harper clutches the Nietzschean's broad shoulders tightly. This is probably as good as it's going to get. It doesn't hurt. It just feels strange. Harper braces himself. He's always been a just yank the bandage off type, rather than the pull if off slow sort. He closes his eyes, relaxing himself as much as possible and then he places a row of kisses down Tyr's shoulder, stroking the hard muscles of his lover's arm. He lifts Tyr's forearm and kisses his way down before sharply nipping the skin at the closest bone blade's base.

"Harper!" The cry is half alarmed rebuke and half moan as Tyr abruptly slides all the way inside.

"It's okay. I'm okay." Harper lies very still, breathing shallowly. The sensation of fullness is overwhelming for a few long minutes but he gradually relaxes around the hard thrust of his lover's cock. Not bad. Not nearly as bad as he had expected. Harper rubs his thigh encouragingly over Tyr's hip. He fills his hands with Tyr’s long braids and pulls his lover down for a kiss. He pulls back to look into the dazed smolder of Tyr's eyes. "Do it."

"Harper." Tyr trembles with need, but remains still, searching his shieldbrother's gaze with concern.

"Move, Uber." Harper grins, flashing his dimples as he playfully slaps Tyr’s ass. He shudders as the long, thick length of cock slides partly out and then presses slowly back in. He cups his hands over the hard curves of Tyr's ass, silently urging his lover on. Tyr's slow thrusts grow smoother and deeper. Harper can feel the gathering tension coiling in the heavy muscles as his lover breathes raggedly against his throat. Bone blades quiver and flex, lightly scrapping against his back. Harper presses back against Tyr and tightens his muscles. He smiles as Tyr cries out, hips jerking forward as the Nietzschean slides deep one last time. Harper wraps his arms around Tyr's damp, limp body, pressing gentle kisses on the Nietzschean's shoulders and throat. He's almost sorry when Tyr slides out. He feels oddly empty now after being filled with his lover. He parts his lips, opening his mouth eagerly to Tyr's aggressive kisses. Harper shifts onto his back as Tyr scatters kisses across his chest, sucking hotly at his tender nipples. He fills his hands with the soft braids, stroking and sliding his fingers through Tyr's long hair as his lover moves lower. Harper moans, hands fisting in the long hair as Tyr's mouth glides over his cock, seductively drawing on him. His hips arching helpless upward into the strong pull. Harper's breath comes faster and faster as he thrusts into the moist heat surrounding him. Tyr's warm tongue swirls slyly around the head. Harper groans loudly as his body arches high off the bed pushing deeper into Tyr’s mouth. His muscles clench hard as he spills himself into the demanding heat of his lover's mouth. Harper's hands relax in the long braids as Tyr allows his cock to slide free. "Brain cells? We don't need no stinking brain cells."

"Rest, Harper." Tyr chuckles as he pulls his lover closer and curls affectionately around him. He nuzzles the damp blond locks and whispers, "Sleep."


***


Tyr wakes with a smile, breathing in his shieldbrother's wonderful scent. He's dreamed of waking this way...sated and satisfied after sharing the night with Harper. He murmurs with pleasure and curls more closely against the human's back. He has made significant progress in easing his new mate's fears for Harper to sleep so soundly with pre pressed up to the human this way. Tyr's sleeply smile widens with the thought. He nuzzles the tousled blond hair and brushes a kiss over Harper's temple. He bends lower, pressing his face in the crook of Harper's throat and shoulder. Yes, there is Harper's scent with his own overshadowing it; a warning that Harper is claimed and by whom. It is both a protection and a danger for Harper. If Harper runs into any Nietzscheans, those who do not recognize his scent will hesitate to harm Harper until they know who has laid claim to the human. Those who fear him will leave Harper alone, and those who consider him an ally will grant a certain measure of protection to Harper. The danger lies with those who know and hate him. The less intelligent of this group will harm Harper. The more intelligent will try to use the engineer as a pawn.

Tyr nibbles delicately at the skin surrounding Harper's dataport. It seems strange to see his shieldbrother so limp and silent. He is more familiar with the loud and brash Harper bouncing around the corridors. He pulls back to watch Harper sleep, lightly stroking the short hair back. He wants to linger here with Harper, ignoring all else, but they are scheduled for duty in a few hours. Tyr eases the covers back to admire the passions marks that he'd left on the pale skin. There are a few scattered scratches from his bone blades. Tyr rubs his chin along the human's shoulder. Any Nietzschean would be proud and well pleased to be so well marked by a lover.

"What are you doing, Tyr?" Harper asks sleepily without opening his eyes.

"Watching you sleep." Tyr rises up on one arm to better admire the marks gracing his shieldbrother's fair skin. He spares an assessing glance down his own chest and smiles smugly to discover marks scattered over his skin. Hmmm. One passion mark encircles one of his nipples. He traces the outlines of the mark. He has the perfect shirt to display these proofs of the passion that he'd unleashed in his lover.

"Watch quieter."

"I was being quiet." Tyr kisses the human's nape. "How are you feeling?"

"I'md." d." Harper blinks his eyes open. His ass is rather sore, but Tyr doesn't need to hear that. Harper rolls over with a smile, wiggling back against the nest of pillows.

"You're still sleepy." Tyr s dos down and his long braids fall forward to cover them both as they trade soft kisses.

Harper laughs.

The sound is warm and happy, making Tyr smile as he pulls back slightly. "What is funny?"

Harper draws a braid through his fingers. "Your hair tickles."

"I shall pull it back." Tyr falls onto his back, pulling Harper down onto his chest.

"Don't you dare! Not when we’re alone." Harper tugs the braids and glares with mock sternness at Tyr. "Am I clear, mister?"

"Crystal, Little Professor." Tyr shifts his position and tucks the human beneath him for a long, slow kiss. He lifts his head and rolls smoothly to his feet. "I'm going to take a shower."

Harper leans up on his elbows to admire the view as his lover swaggers into the bathroom. The Nietzschean really is walking perfection. He flops back on the bed and throws his arm over Tyr's pillow, snuggling up to it. Harper rubs his cheek against the soft fabric, breathing in Tyr's unique scent. It makes him feel safe and comforted, as if nothing can touch him here. Tyr always smells wonderful. Harper suddenly sits up, holding the pillow at arm's length, staring at it in appalled realization. Tyr's scent. Images of people sniffing him. Mariyam. The Tyr twins. Oh, shit! Could they smell Tyr on him? Did they know that he and Tyr had…had…been. Harper shoots out of bed, dropping the pillow. "Tyr?"

"Yes?"

Harper sniffs himself experimentally as he hurries toward the bathroom. Damn, he smells just like Tyr. "Want a little company in that shower?"

***

Tyr leans against the bedroom doorway watching with fascination as Harper dresses. The reverse strip-tease is intriguing as his shieldbrother's pale, delicious skin slowly vanishes under boxers and an burnt orange tee shirt. Ummm. He likes the snug way the cotton stretches over Harper's chest, drawing discreet attention to the supple side of muscles beneath. Only the purple mark that he'd left on his lover's throat is exposed to public view. Tyr folds his arms over the brown silk cords that comprise his own shirt. He has dressed to flaunt every passion marks that his shield brother has left scattered over his torso. So far, Harper has noticed the display. He is looking forward to the moment when Harper notices and becomes delightfully flustered by it. The door chimes just as Harper reaches for his pants. Tyr scowls. He does not appreciate the intrusion on his time with Harper. What is it that can not wait until he is on duty?

"Enter." Tyr calls curtly over his shoulder. When he looks back, Harper is zipping the cargo pants up. Tyr sighs, regreting the end of the show. Perhaps he can persuade Harper to show him more of those table dancing moves tonight.

"Tyr! I thought I’d still find you here." Dylan comes to an abrupt stop in the middle of the room, looking around at all the melted candles with a bemused air. "I didn't know you liked candles so much."

"You know very little about me." Tyr turns to face the Captain, moving to the middle of the room and firmly placing himself between Dylan and the bedroom.

"I don't doubt that." Dylan eyes the Nietzschean with open curiousity. He glances at the remains of the candles again. Gaheris had never shown any interest in candles. The room looks almost like Tyr had been romancing someone last night and there aren't an abundance of candidates. Beka, perhaps? Trance seems unlikely. Hopefully not Mariyam. That would really upset things. "Rommie and I are going accompany St. Clair down to the planet today and I wanted to go over some last minute changes…"

Harper swaggers out from the bedroom, adjusting his tool belt around his waist. Dylan stares. Why is Harper…there must be some sort of mechanical problem. That's it. There must be some sort of…There is a big, pu spl splotch high on Harper’s neck. It looks like a…it can’t be. Dylan's eyes widen.

"Hey, boss." Harper grins. "Don't mind me. I'm heading off to Engineering."

He walked up behind Tyr and lays his hand on the Nietzschean's arm. He strokes down to the brown leather gauntlet and curves his hand around to smooth over the area covering the base of the bone blades. Dylan steps forward quickly at the sound of Tyr's growl only to freeze as he looks more closely at the Nietzschean. There is a circular purple mark surrounding one of Tyr's dark nipples. It looks like a…like a…passion mark. Now that he’s noticed, Dylan can see more marks neatly framed by the brown silk cords. Harper? Harper and Tyr?

"See you when I get home." Harper leans up and grabs a handful of braids, pulling Tyr's head down and brushing his lips over the Nietzschean's. Tyr wrap his arms the smaller man, pulling him close for a long, thoroughly kiss. Harper surfaces with a dazed grin. He nods to Dylan as he walks toward the door. "See ya later, Boss."

Dylan looks from Tyr to the closed door and back again. His gaze drifts past Tyr to the rumpled bed. "Is there something I should know about?"

"No."

Dylan shakes his bangs back and tries again. "Are you and Harper…"

Tyr cuts the question off by walking to the door. "I thought you came here to talk about last minute changes to your schedule. If not I'm going to command deck for my shift."

Dylan looks from Tyr to the candles and back. "Romantic evening…" His tone invites a confidence as does his warm smile.

Tyr stares coldly back. "None of your business, Captain Hunt."

TBC


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