SFR Flash Fiction / Command Decision Part 5

Writing Prompt: No Writing Prompt

A note from Kit: This is rapidly turning into a novella I think, so if you’d like to read this story in order, please use the links below.

Command Decision Part 1

Command Decision Part 2

Command Decision Part 3

Command Decision Part 4

 

Taken aback, Kate froze and then relaxed when it occurred to her that she had options to consider here. Their relationship thus far had been professional and courteous; nothing more. She had to have missed something she thought, and, that in mind, she studied him; tried to see behind all that savage bitterness and hostility; tried to put herself in his shoes and found that she couldn’t because she simply didn’t know anything about him beyond his performance as her exec. I don’t know where you are from, not really, not more than as a note in your file… I know nothing  about how you grew up or about your family We’ve never discussed such things.

Laying her head on her knees and calling herself every kind of jackass, she studied the curious combination of heavy Recessive bone structure, and more finely wrought human angles that comprised his face and it occurred to her that he was almost certainly the product of a rape, and, that the stigma attached to that, no matter how well adjusted and enlightened his hypothetical family may have been, most certainly played into this somehow.

Catching movement out of the corner of her eye she flicked her eyes across the room in time to see one of the locals stretch her legs out in front of her. The woman’s eyes were on the commander, and they were wary. Curious, Kate surveilled the room and caught more than one pair of eyes watching them. That played into it too, she thought ,and wondered—not about being different, she knew about that—but about being a specific kind of different. She wondered about being the kind of different that garnered you a lifetime of fearful sidelong glances and an invisible perimeter; the sort that no one wanted to stray into whether physically or mentally lest the come into contact with you.

Thinking back to her own behaviour, she realised that she too, had been unusually distant with him, and that she had not so much as touched his hand exchanging cups of coffee or reports since she’d come aboard The Crimson Tide; nor had she witnessed any sort of contact, innocuous or otherwise, between him and any other member of their crew. He was treated with the respect due his rank, she realised, but he was still a social pariah and as such was unlikely to have much of a sex life. ‘Something I can never have.‘ he’d said and she suddenly began to understand the kind of humiliation this situation must represent for him. To want, to desire and yet to be almost universally classified as unwanted; undesirable—Kate cursed silently—it was a hell she would wish only on her worst enemy and he wasn’t her enemy… he was just… an unknown.

Coming to a decision she shifted until there was but a hairsbreadth of distance between them and when he didn’t push her away or otherwise react negatively to her closeness she shifted again and the distance was gone and she was pressed up against his side intimately aware of the way he inhaled deeply in reaction to her movement. “Ease-up commander.” She told him softly.

Another deep breath; a massive expansion of his chest and then, pressed up against him as she was, Kate felt his grip across his abdomen loosen as he allowed himself to relax a little. 

They sat that way for what felt like a lifetime and then, something tipped and he was leaning into her, pushing against her everywhere they touched as if he’d push himself through her. “I’m sorry.” He said after a moment.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” Kate replied perplexed. He was still quite stiff and tight beside her despite having relaxed enough to allow himself to lean against her.

“I know this puts an added stress on the situation—on you—one you don’t need.” He explained quietly with an impersonal directness to his tone that she found disturbing in the way it made him a situation to be dealt with and not an individual being.

Kate swore sharply, succinctly. “Gods Commander, I am not such a bitch as all that.” She told him.

“I shouldn’t have said… what I said earlier about…” He trailed off as a red tide crawled up from his throat and engulfed his face..

“About removing my clothes, pressing me up against the wall and having your way with me?” Kate asked lightly. “That’s not very flattering.”

He looked directly at her. “Neither is being offered a pity fuck.”

 

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