This part is dedicated to Judy1393 who so graciously allowed me to work with her plot.
Part 3 Swear I can feel it when you try.
Joshua sat the plate on the table with a flourish befitting a magician. Sighing when there was no response, he dusted off the apron and walked back into the kitchen, the cat on his heels. "You would think I would get at least a mew for my efforts, but no, an ungrateful audience tonight." When the cat merely looked at him, he gave another sigh and went back to tending the pasta sauce. "Why don't you make yourself useful and go catch some vermin? I am sure you can find some nice tasty mice in this hovel of a building."
"Why go for mice when she has a big rat in front of her?"
"Oh ha ha, that one is just so lame it can't move, let alone wound me." Joshua stirred the sauce once more and grabbed a large pot off the stove and dumped it in a colander in the sink. "Make yourself useful and get the bread out of the oven."
Liam smirked as he complied. Looking down at the curious cat, he shook his head. "Here I thought I was the owner of this kitchen, silly me."
"Use the bread knife to cut it, there is one on the counter next to the package it came in."
"It seems you have made yourself at home."
Shrugging, Joshua rinsed the pasta. "I never go in a place unprepared. Cover all your bases, my father taught me well." After setting the colander on a plate he turned and handed it to Liam. "Let me do that, you take this to the table, and be quick about it, I have other things for you to do."
"Yes, sir!" Liam saluted as he took the plate holding the colander of noodles and marched out of the kitchen.
"Keep that up smart ass, and no dessert." After slicing the bread, he went back to tending the sauce. As Liam entered the kitchen, he took a spoon full of the sauce and held it out to the hybrid's lips. "Open." Liam grabbed his hand, sucked the spoon in his mouth, and wiped it on his tongue before pulling it out. "More garlic, or Italian?"
In the next instant, Liam froze in mid chew, huffed, and ran to the sink to pour cold water on his tongue. "That was hot!"
"Aw, poor baby, want me to kiss it and make it better? Besides, it wasn't that hot," Joshua spoke as he continued to work on the dinner. "Now for the cheese, grinder, grinder, grinder... left it in the bag on the table, be right back." He turned to leave the kitchen but was blocked as Liam faced him with an angry expression. "If you get out of my way, I can finish dinner."
"So?" He gave a rueful smile after a moment's pause. "Oh look, you got sauce on your face."
"I got..." He was silenced as Joshua's arms went around his waist and pulled him close.
"Say no more, I can make a small sacrifice just this once." His lips met Liam's cheek, tongue lashing out to lick the sauce. As the man seemed to shiver under his touch, Joshua nipped at the skin.
Liam jerked back as the smirk came back to Joshua's face. "What did you do that for?"
"Careful when kissing a scorpion, Kincaid, you might get stung." He turned out of Liam's grasp and went in to the dining area, leaving the only sound of the sauce cooking and the swinging door.
Liam stood there stunned, he couldn't figure out what Joshua's angle was. People always wanted something. He just had to figure out what the son of the leader of the Liberation wanted before he got too far into a situation there might not be a way out of. "Wonder what the old man would think if he saw me with his son?"
"We would still be peeling him off the ceiling over the boxer rebellion."
"Joshua, what do you really want, I have no time for games. As you know I just got out of the hospital from being kidnapped. I am not interested in playing some twisted mind game."
Joshua set down the grinder. "What makes you think I am hiding my motives? Now get out of the way unless you want to wear the sauce." He paused as he held the sauce off the burner. "I could always lick it from your body, that could be a good way to start what I want."
"You want to eat me?"
"May be later, right now I just want some spaghetti. I made the stuff from scratch, the least we could do is eat it like two normal human beings." He set the sauce on the counter top and growled. "Fuck it!" Grabbing Liam, he pushed the younger man against the counter, kissing him into submission. Breathing through his nose, he lifted Liam, wrapping his legs around his waist. The feel of the younger man's warm body beneath him made him growl again as he tried to get more sensation through their clothes.
When he took in a deep breath, he noted Liam's skin had the smell of burning spaghetti sauce.
'Burning spaghetti sauce?'
Joshua's eye went wide as he yanked his hand and spoon from Liam's grip, turned back to the burner, and pulled the pot from the fire. Cursing himself for getting carried away, he rested his head against the cabinet over the counter. A fantasy, it had all been a fantasy. He startled when he felt Liam's hand on his shoulder.
"The sauce wasn't that bad." He took in the appearance of the older man panting. "What happened, you look a little flushed?"
"I think I better go. You uh, got the ingredients all ready, just mix and serve. You and Whisky here have at it." He pointed at the cat as he walked out of the kitchen. "I'm real busy, got an interview tomorrow for my dad's campaign trail schedule. So I guess I will see you... around, some time, I hope." Grabbing his coat off the hook next to the door, he put it on and turned to go. He gave Liam a friendly smile as the younger man stood in the kitchen door way with a confused look on his face. "Enjoy the dinner." Then he was gone.
Liam stood there stunned. The man was out of his mind, he had been offering him the spoon full of sauce, he grabbed the man's hand, tasted the sauce, and told him it needed more mushrooms. Now thirty seconds later, he was standing there in an empty apartment with a dinner for two, and only a cat to share it with. 'Does he prefer it without mushrooms?' Figuring Joshua needed to have his brain checked, he shrugged and went back to enjoy the dinner.
Joshua slammed the door behind him, leaning against it as if to keep the monsters out. His chest rose and fell in quick succession as he tried to get his thoughts in order. 'What had happened to having a nice quiet dinner among friends? Why did you have to start having extreme sexual fantasies about that blue eyed devil? Or was he green eyed?' Brushing a hand over his haggard face, he gave a gruff laugh. Liam was turning into quite the sex object.
Why now, after all the years of repressing these urges, did they have to rear themselves in such an aggressive manner? Repression never did anything this bad in the past. 'No, Joshua, you never wanted to take a guy so bad you were willing to let the cat watch, or imagine what the major could do with a raspy tongue like that.' His thoughts were like a cold glass of water down his spine.
He had to get these feelings under control, they were getting worse by the second. All thoughts seemed to continue revolving around one thing, fucking the major senseless. His lips twisted in to a smirk as his hand snaked down the front of his pants. Already rock hard, he gave a few rubs over the head for friction. Before he knew it, he was screaming out, coming in his briefs. When he was through shaking from the intensity of the orgasm, he looked down at the front of his pants. The entire front was soaked clear through to the skin. Sighing in disgust, he carefully walked to his bathroom, stripped from the sticky clothes, and stepped in to the shower.
He came twice more while washing his lower body before giving up and finishing the shower. Drying off, he decided to forgo the constricting underwear in fear of another accident, and carefully slipped in to the bed. Joshua decided to lay on his side as it reduced chances of more excitement to his already overly stimulated member. Once settled in, he drifted off to an image of screwing Liam over his own desk.
Walking in the Embassy, Lili watched as Liam tried to adjust something in his coat. When he caught sight of her, he tried to sneak away. "Un uh, Liam, I already saw you. What are you doing here?"
He stopped mid motion and hung his head.
"I thought Dr. Park told you no work for a week." She walked up behind him and waited on him to face her. "What are you hiding?"
"It's not what you think, Lili." He turned to face her, one hand still wrapped around his coat covered abdomen as the other finished zipping his jacket.
"Oh, and it is normal for you to be walking around with your stomach bulging, and... moving! Liam, what in hell do you have in your jacket? Tell me it is not what I think it is." She stood waiting for him to open his jacket, a hand on her pistol just in case. "Well?"
"I am afraid I can't do that. I am only here long enough to get a few project briefs for the conference next week."
"What did you smuggle into the Embassy?" She narrowed her eyes to tell him she meant business.
Sighing, he lowered the top of his zipper six inches and the head of a gray and black tabby popped out.
"Oh Liam, she is adorable!" As Lili approached, the cat ducked back into Liam's jacket. "Where did you get her?" She tried to peer down the front of his jacket to get a better look at the cat.
"A friend brought her to me last night. I had to come get a few things and I couldn't leave her there all alone." He snuck a hand up inside his jacket smiling as it started to emit a loud purr. "Isn't she cute?"
"Yeah, but a little shy. I have been wanting to get one for a while, but was afraid of taking care of them." She frowned when Liam started to laugh. "What is so funny about me wanting a cat?"
"Nothing, but your fears are justified."
Now her hands were on her hips. "Oh, and why is that?"
"With your line of work, the cat would have to have a built in ID drive just to survive. Face it, Lili, around you, things tend to end up dead before their time."
"Oh ha ha, very funny, Liam." Before she could smack his arm, his jacket suddenly stiffened and puffed out. A low growl started to come from it as well. "What the..."
"Ah, Major Kincaid, the Human I was looking for." Zo'or's voice rang out in the large greeting area of the Embassy.
Liam started to stroke the bulge and speak softly to it. "What can I do for you, Zo'or?"
The companion walked slowly towards Liam with a smirk on his features. "I have a problem with your report on the abduction, and decided to investigate it with you personally. Your assistant informed me that you would not be here, but I corrected her in this false assumption."
"She was not mistaken, Major Kincaid should not be here. He is under explicit orders to the contrary." Lili glared at Liam as he tried to tell her something.
"Then why are you here, Major?" Zo'or seemed faintly amused at the prospect of Liam's disobedience.
"I have a few things I need to pick up for the conference next week, now what do you want to know?" Liam had gotten the cat to quiet down as the Companion walked closer.
"There are a few inconsistencies with your report. Such as what this Jaridian was doing to your body. You stated that you knew what he was doing, then later in your report you have the exact opposite. Which is it, Major, do you know what he was doing to you?"
Liam stood there for a moment in thought. A feeling held on the back of his mind that he should know what had happened. There was something wrong with his memory, like the information was being locked out and he didn't have the key. "Fundamentally, I know what he was trying to accomplish, but for the life of me, I can't remember it."
Liam was about to continue when his jacket suddenly erupted in a bought of growls and hisses. He held the bulge closer to his body and cleared his throat. "I can't, it is the same way you recognize something you never seen before. You just do. I don't know what it means, but I know what he was trying to do. That if he had succeeded, it would have been very bad for me."
The Taelons seemed to think on this for a moment as the jacket continued to let him know its disapproval. "I find this discovery interesting in that only your species seems to have this trouble, a Taelon would never forget such important information. Perhaps we will discuss it further when you return from your forced leave. By then, may be your clothing will have learned not to be so vocal or else." As Zo'or finished, the noises stopped. He then walked away with no further acknowledgement of the two.
Lili hissed at Liam through her teeth. "Get that cat out of here! I thought for sure Zo'or would have you open your jacket and then exterminate it."
"Would you relax, Zo'or will do nothing of the sort." He tugged at the moving bulge. "It would be bad press for the Taelons. Besides, Mr. Whiskers wouldn't let that big bully lay a finger on him."
"Mr. Whiskers? I thought your cat was a girl."
"She is, I just like the name." Liam shrugged defensively as he walked towards the greeting chamber stair well. "Besides, it fits, she is a tough kitty with a feminine touch."
"That is so sexist of you. I thought I taught you better than that. It was Augur who taught you the differences, wasn't it?"
Shaking his head, he walked on through towards his desk. "It is just a normal thing in our society. What do you feel when you hear the title of Ms.? You feel as if she is young, incompetent, and inexperienced. When you here Mrs., you feel she is supportive, wise, and maternal. Mr. commands respect, whether you admit it or not, you know it is true. Why else would you refer to a married couple as Mr. and Mrs. such and such?" He snorted in amusement at her shocked look. "It is true, and you know it. Face it Lili, we are not as equal in our beliefs as we would like to think."
After a moment, Lili rolled her eyes and hurried to catch up with him. "But still, you are mislabeling your cat. People are going to expect to see a male cat when you tell them her name."
"Let them assume what they will. I just picked out a name that showed both her strength and her most eye catching features. Sorta like a mob boss from the old dime novels Augur has. Mr. Fish Eyes Leonettie was always a favorite." A smile crossed his face as she laughed at him. "It is all in the way you see things. Where you see a title reserved for men, I see a symbol of strength and power. Go figure. Besides, I think it is better than the original."
"Yeah, he named her Whisky. That was just too childish."
"Is there something wrong, Lili? You keep repeating what I say, it is getting annoying, and.... and you are fishing for clues. If you want to know, just ask." He stormed over to his desk as Lili floundered for a reply.
"You want me to come out and say it? Fine, who do you know so well that they gave you a cat? And one with such a cutesy name at that."
Liam stood up, stuffing the briefing materials in a sack before hanging it over a shoulder. "Lili, for your information it was Joshua Doors, he brought her as a get well present. He told me he wanted to apologize and cooked me dinner as a way to say it. I think a simple 'I am sorry' would have been suffice, but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when there is free food involved."
Lili stood there, mouth agape. When she caught her thoughts again, he was already half way across the chamber towards the exit. "Wait a minute!" She rushed to his side again. "Hold on! What do you mean he cooked you dinner?"
"Look, Lili, it was no big deal! He just cooked me spaghetti from scratch as an apology." When her face turned from shock to angry, he bit back the groan. 'Here it comes.'
"That is not an apology! He is seducing you!" A deep breath. "A man does not just bring you gifts, and dinner if he wants to apologize. That doesn't happen, Liam, not in the real world. There is always an ulterior motive. And Spaghetti, Liam, that is loaded with aphrodisiacs! God, he wants in your pants, that... pervert, wants to mount you. Probably just so he can say he had you. You have got to stay away from him."
"It is no big deal, Lili. He didn't even stay to eat, he finished making the sauce and left."
"No big deal! Liam, just because he didn't stay to eat doesn't mean he didn't want to do other things."
"Guys will say whatever they have to get what they want. And that goes doublely so for him. This is Joshua Doors we are talking about here, the son of Johnathan Doors, one of the most ruthlessly influential men in the world! He will stop at nothing until he has you wrapped around him and screaming his name." Lili flushed at her own words as Liam looked away in anger. "Listen, please. I want only what is best for you. You are the closest thing I have to a kid, Liam. I lost my brother because I didn't stand up for myself to our bastard of a father. I sure in hell will not lose you to some self-centered, spoiled, son of a megalomaniac."
Liam blinked back the tears as he cleared his throat. "Are you through?" A hand on his chin brought him to look at her face.
"No," she whispered. "I am never through when it concerns you. I made a promise a while back, and I intend to keep it." Wrapping her arms around his rigid form, she held him tight until the cat let out a low whine. "You listen to her, Liam. She hasn't been wrong so far as I've known her."
Liam held his tongue about her opinion of Joshua. "I will. I will see you again in a week if I don't see you before."
As he turned to leave, she held his shoulder. "Wait, there was something else. Johnathan globaled earlier, said he was looking for you. He may know about last night, so be warned."
"Fine, I'll keep that in mind." Clutching his jacket tighter about the cat, he walked away.
Lili leaned closer to the virtual glass as he passed underneath. "Be careful, Liam."
Da'an scanned the factory size room filled with shelves covered in identical bodies. The Biosurrogates project was working better than he had originally hoped. His fingers twitched in response to a figure moving behind him. "I had thought your presence to be barred from this room."
"It is my job to be where you are, Da'an. As your protector..."
"Temporary protector, Agent Sandoval." Angling his head to a slight tilt, Da'an narrowed his eyes at the man. "Do not forget your posting is only temporary. Now I ask you again, why are you here when I gave specific orders to the contrary?"
"You also asked to be informed if Major Kincaid had returned to the Embassy while you were away. He has."
"This you felt was important enough to violate my previous commands?"
Sandoval's face remained impassive as he looked around the room.
"I see, get out." Da'an finally turned to face his former protector. "If your master sends you again to spy on my projects, warn him it will be the last thing you do."
Sandoval formed the Taelon Salute with his hands and backed out of the room. "As you wish, Da'an."
The Taelon moved about the shelves scanning their contents. "Dr. Sparrow?"
"Yes, Da'an," came the modulated reply. The wheel chair's motor whirred as Dr. Sparrow pushed forward, his computer screen displaying data on the Biosurrogates. "Is there something I can help you with?"
"I feel it is imperative that you lock out all security codes aside from yours and mine own."
"Do you think that wise?"
Da'an scanned the room once more. "Zo'or has interfered with my projects in the past with disastrous results. Do not underestimate his determination. If he believes this project will be his best chance at winning, nothing will stop him."
"Then I will do as you ask." His monitor beeped as it flashed 'locked down'. "Done."
"Thank you." Da'an studied the door where the protector had exited through the shelves. "I want to be alerted to all changes in this project. You are to contact me directly."
"As you wish." Sparrow's eyes squinted as he looked at the companion. "Do you think the scheduled transfer of my conscious will be delayed by this?"
"We shall have to wait and see the outcome of today's events, Dr. Sparrow."
"Perhaps it would be best to increase the time table then."
"A wise precaution. My protector shall be indisposed for a time, I think it best that we do so before he returns."
He smiled at the Taelon. "With your assistance I will be ready in four days."
"Then in four days, you may walk upon your Earth or be placed in it as is the custom of your people."
"I prefer to think of it as being freed if not in one form then another."
At that Da'an glanced towards his wheel chair bound body. "An enlightened point of view."
There was silence in the Liberation Head Quarters as Johnathan Doors stood on the stairs leading from the upper deck. It was not for the man standing there, but what he had been saying that made the members speechless. "I am warning you, Kincaid, stay away from my son!"
"Listen to yourself, blaming me for Joshua's sudden interest like I had a hand in it. I told you, I came home and there he was, having taken over the place like he owned it."
"I don't care what he did, you energetic Lolita! Keep your alien whiles to yourself, is that clear."
"Energetic Lolita, Alien whiles? You make it sound like I seduced him or something." Liam's customary smirk started then faltered at Doors' glare.
"I know all about your kind. How your father could manipulate people with the touch of his hand. For all I know, he could have passed it on to his son." Johnathan was wound up so tight he couldn't think straight. Finally, after sputtering for a few breaths, he spouted the only thing that came to mind. "You are acting the part of a temptuous harlot and I won't have it."
Liam was incredulous. "You won't have it?"
"That's right. So go play raging hormonal alien some where else!" After he finished, Johnathan turned and stormed down the last of the steps. Once at the bottom he glared at the frozen stares. "Get back to work!"
They quickly scattered about to their consoles and business.
Liam jumped over the hand rail, landing to block Johnathan's path as he tried to make for the elevator. "We aren't through."
"The hell we aren't. Get out of my way."
Glaring at the older man, Liam defiantly crossed his arms. "Not until you listen to reason."
"The only reason I listen to is my own and I don't need anything else."
"Fine, then I guess we won't be going any where for a while." Liam's customary smirk grew into a brilliant smile at Doors' annoyance. "I'm waiting."
"Two minutes!" Johnathan stormed around Liam towards the elevator. "Clock's ticking, Kincaid."
"Yes, sir!" He followed the older man up the stairs and into the elevator, turning to him once the doors were closed. "We have a problem."
"Tell me something I don't know."
"Joshua sleeps in the nude."
"That is not what I meant. Your time is running out fast."
"Fine, I'll get right to the point." Shifting his feet, he assumed a ready stance. "Your son is obsessed with me. I think he might jeopardize my cover."
This caught Johnathan's attention. Reaching over to the console, he pressed a few buttons and the lift stopped. "What do you mean?"
"I mean he ran several searches into my back ground. He came over to my place and fixed me dinner. He left recording devices in my bedroom, kitchen, and living room. My security system picked them up when they activated after I went out this morning."
"Those weren't Joshua's."
"If you had bothered to do your homework, you would realize those were placed by a goon working for Sandoval." His anger was suppressed by his concern. "But you are correct about the rest. Breaking and entering is going too far. Do you have any idea why he would be interested in you?"
"No, I was hoping you would know that."
"Fine, I'll look into this. Keep me informed of any and all changes." He pressed the lift buttons again and they finished the ride in silence. As they exited the lift, Augur was waiting for them with an amused grin. "Don't even say it."
"Oh come on, Johnathan. Not like I was going to say anything about a shot gun wedding."
"That D'Giammo you wanted," Doors pulled out his global, pressing in a sequence of numbers, "consider it history."
"Johnathan! You wouldn't! I was only joking."
"I did." He pushed the black man on the lift.
"Johnathan Doors, you're a monster!" His shout was muffled some what as the doors closed.
"You didn't really destroy that priceless piece of art, did you?" Liam was eyeing him as they ascended the steps into the cathedral.
"I never make an empty threat."
"So you just threw away a fifty thousand dollars like that."
"Two hundred and fifty, but I made my point."
Shaking his head, Liam put on his sun glasses and walked out of the church. "You're one hell of a monster, Johnathan..."
The image clicked off as Joshua walked in front of his screen. "Care to explain this to me, dad?"
"Where in the hell did you get that?"
"I have my sources. Don't avoid my question. What were you and Major Kincaid doing in that church?"
Johnathan turned his chair away from Joshua, looking out the window over New York. "What were you doing in his home last night? I thought I told you to stay away from him."
Joshua stalked behind his father's desk, grabbed the chair and forced it to face him. "Answer the damn question. What in the hell is going on?"
"I was covering your ass!" Johnathan pushed his son's hand off his leather chair. "As you seem so intent on bearing it for the whole world to see, someone has to be there to make sure it stays in one piece."
"What did you tell him. If you threatened him, so help me god..."
"And what if I did?"
Pulling back in disgust, Joshua turned away. "Do you have to screw up everything in my life? I thought you wanted to be president. Make this world a better place, a world with our eyes open. How can you do that when you are in jail for threatening a protector of the aliens you so despise?"
"How dare you stand there preaching about me breaking the law when you did it last night. If you must know, I was making sure the hapless Major was not going to press charges against you. Luckily for you, he found out about your obsessive compulsive disorder."
That got his attention back from the skyline. "My what? I don't have..."
Johnathan held up a hand, signaling his son to keep quiet. "As of this morning, you do. I have scheduled you for time with a psychiatrist. It was part of my deal."
Joshua stood there, shock written in his hazel eyes. "You can't do this! I can't believe you lied about me to a complete stranger."
"I did what was necessary to keep you safe and out of jail. You had no right to invade his private life like that, and after your disappearing act you pulled on him last night, you should be glad he actually bought it." With the dawning of this realization in his son's eyes, Johnathan played another card. "What you did last night was criminal at best. The man is a companion agent, not to be trusted. Had you come anytime after last night, he would have evidence enough to prosecute you. As it was, Sandoval's devices didn't activate until this morning."
"As in Agent Sandoval, head of Companion Security?"
"The one and only."
"But how, I mean why? I thought they were all on the same team over there." Joshua couldn't believe it, this didn't sit well with him.
Seeing Joshua trying to think it out, Johnathan sighed. "That is what they would like you to believe, spouting about their great commonality. Lies, it only links them so far as it allows them to know that they are still alive or not." He sat back in his chair, staring at his son intently, making sure the younger man knew he meant business. "They are playing a game of survival, one false step can mean a death sentence for their entire species. Both our species for that matter. We are bound to a single planet while they have the chance to escape to any number of countless worlds."
Joshua circled round the room, his arms crossed. "So you think that I am in danger?"
"Why the sudden care about my well being?"
"I could ask the same thing," Johnathan shot back as he quickly stood
"What are you talking about?" Turning to face his father, Joshua glared at the older man. Putting his hands on his hips, he narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
"I am talking about that suddenly you are spouting about how I am the second coming. You quit working for that puppet and manage my campaign. That doesn't add up, Joshua." Slowly, he walked towards his son, hands barely moving at his sides. "Why, Joshua, why now after all this time?"
"Because I hate the Taelons."
"That was too easy, try again." This time, he moved his jacket revealing the personal energy gun hidden beneath his jacket. "Who are you working for? You would never trust your greatest enemy in such a position of power, let alone me."
Pausing in his steps, Joshua swallowed. He noticed the gun before he took a step back. "What are you doing, dad?"
"Insuring my survival. I will ask you once again, who are you working for?"
"You, I am working for you!" His retreat ended with the his back hitting the office door.
"Now why are you doing that?" He stopped walking when he reached a point directly in front of his son.
"Because I hate the Taelons."
"Wrong answer!" Johnathan pulled his energy gun.
"You were right! All along, you were right. The Taelons, they are just using us."
"Then why not form your own resistance. Why come to me? You are singing, Joshua, but I'm not buying the act."
He held up his hands as the energy weapon was pointed at his face. "Please, dad, please!" While the energy pack hissed as it charged, he closed his eyes. "I hate you! I hate you! Is that what you wanted, you sick fuck? I hate you, I want you dead!" His words came out in a panicked rush. Swallowing, he continued on. "I figured if I could get you in a public setting, the Taelons could do the rest. Once they got rid of you, I would have the public support I needed to get them off my world! Joshua Doors, the mournful son of the People's Martyr..." He went silent as the cold barrel was placed next to his temple. A shudder ran through his body at the feel of it.
"I believe you." Johnathan put the weapon away as his son slid to the floor, pale and shaking. "Now get out."
He stared up at the older man in confusion. "What?"
"I said get out. You have a doctor's appointment in an hour which gives you just enough time to clean up before then." At his son's continued confusion, he gestured toward the stain down the front of Joshua's pants. "Next time you do something that stupid, I will pull the trigger."
Standing, he straightened his suit jacket to hide the stain. Glaring at his father, Joshua wished him dead in that moment. "One of these days I am going to knock that expressionless face from your head! You fucking bastard, I thought you were going to do it!"
"I still might. Just because your motives were more... shall we say, personal, does not mean I agree with your... some of your goals. I will see the Taelons gone, but on my own terms, not yours. Now get out of my sight."
"Yes, dad!" Turning on his heel, Joshua marched from the office, slamming the door behind him.
"I love you too, son." Johnathan sat in his desk chair, then turned it to face the windows.
The dark red haired figure stood over him, his face an emotionless mask as he held something small up for him to see. Squinting, he caught sight of the glint of gold in the dim lab lights. "No! Please, no."
"I assure you, she felt no pain," the soft whisper made him gasp.
"Damn you, Boone. Damn you!" Tears filled his eyes as he tried to fight them. The straps held his head in place, forcing him to watch them. "Damn you..." Pain flared at the bottom of his skull as something penetrated his skin...
"Damn you, Boone!" Sandoval's eyes blinked open several times as he wiped away the tears. Using the sheet to clean his face, he whispered it again to the memory of his past. Sitting up in his bed, he glanced at the clock.
Rubbing a hand down his face, he dispelled any remnants of tears. The nightmarish memory made his skin prickle with emotions. After a few moments, he climbed out of bed and headed to the bathroom. His image reflected the same emotionless mask he presented to the world everyday. At that a small smile formed on his lips. He was far from the mindless automaton the Taelons believed.
Before he could do anything further, his global rang out. With a carefully neutral face, he walked out and picked it up from the bedside. Pulling it open, he looked down on the pale face. "Zo'or?"
"Return to the Mothership at once, I have use for your services."
"I have yet to find a suitable replacement for Major..."
"I do not care for your excuses. Da'an's safety is not my concern."
"Very well, Zo'or, I will be there soon."
The Taelon's eyes narrowed at him. "See that you don't make me wait too long." As suddenly as he had appeared, Zo'or's image winked out to be replaced by the MotherShip identification symbols.
"Pompous ass." Closing his global, he dropped in on the bed and stripped. Walking back to the bathroom naked, he ignored the ringing of the global.
Liam walked up the stairs to his apartment, a smile on his face. He was feeling absurdly good this early morning, and he couldn't figure out why. After his confrontation with Doors, he had gone on a little shopping spree with Maya. He and she had done the same thing this morning. His apartment had seemed so bare, so empty. With a few items, they had decided, he could make it more homely. Glancing down at the bags as they hit the wall, he snorted. "Okay, so it wasn't a little, but Mr. Whiskers should like these."
The second set of steps to the top were easily traversed, but he had to watch the floor in order to make sure he made each step. At the top, he stopped when he noticed a pair of expensive dress shoes blocking his path. "What do you want?" Not even bothering to look up, he shoved Joshua aside.
"I want to talk. I have the right to talk with you."
"No, you don't." His good mood all but evaporated at the man's presence. Liam was about to reach for his keys when his arm was grabbed from behind, spinning him to face Joshua.
"I said I want to talk..."
"Don't touch me!" Liam dropped the bags and shook the hand off his arm in revulsion. "There is nothing to talk about. You are psychotic, I am a high profile, you are getting help."
"I am not psychotic, that was my father's suggestion..."
Liam chuckled at Joshua's statement. Focusing his blue eyes on the older man's, he put as much venom as he could in them. "Get this straight, Joshua, as a favor to your father, I am going to forget you were here. Now if you don't leave, I can just as suddenly over come any personal debts. So leave me alone." Turning to go, he bent down to pick up the bags.
"I can't." Joshua, bent over to help him pick up the bags. His hand rested over Liam's as they reached for the same handle. "For the last four days, since we kissed, you are the only think I can think about."
"Get over it, I did."
"No!" Joshua gripped the hand tight, more than he meant to. Loosening his hold, he sighed. "I mean no..., I.... I can't."
"That is not my problem. Now let go of my hand." Liam started to draw back from the older man when suddenly, Joshua gripped their hands together, placing palm to palm. In the next moment, his head jerked back as his spine went rigid. Breath gone, he gasped for air as pain ran up his nerves. His world narrowed down to a black haze as he fought to remain conscious. Finally losing the battle, he gave in screaming as his body flew apart in countless energy particles.
"Why have you recalled Agent Sandoval from my service?" Da'an stared at the image of Zo'or as the other Taelon seemed to gaze of distracted. "Do not ignore my petition, Zo'or, as a member of the Synod, I have right to question your actions. If this is an attempt to limit my access to my project, I assure you that..." Suddenly his world flashed brilliantly and he lost balance. Grabbing for his chair, he lost control of his facade. A mass of energy rushed through his system as he cried out. Regaining his balance, Da'an's facade flickered over his skin. When a second blush threatened to ripple through him, he forced it down.
His facade disappeared under another extreme blush before he opened his eyes. Their calm intent focused on Zo'or. He noticed the younger Taelon was in a similar state of disarray. A moment of mutual understanding passed between them.
"So it would seem."
"How is it possible?"
"The Jaridian." The elder Taelon noted as Zo'or inclined his head. "You knew?"
At Da'an's words, Zo'or blushed again. "I have been suspecting. It was why I felt the need to recall my implant."
"A wise precaution."
"Send for Captain Marquette, I will arrive shortly."
"Agreed." His words echoed in the now empty audience chamber as the data stream cut out. Waving his hand over the sensor, Da'an activated another. Pressing a few symbols, he stared calmly. His eyes slitted as he glared at the pale face of Lili. Face pinched, he spoke in a neutral tone. "You lied to me."
"What are you talking about, Da'an?"
"Is your word worthless? We had an agreement, why did you break it?"
"I don't understand, what is going on?" Lili's growing horror made her shiver as goose bumps appeared on her skin. She had never seen the Taelon's features so tightly controlled, his hands so still. "Please, Da'an, tell me what I lied about."
"The condition of Liam Kincaid. I have felt his terror as he relived his abduction." Da'an's facade flickered before he said the next part. "His pain as he was forced against his will to merge with a Jaridian."
"Then you knew of this?" At Lili's nod, Da'an looked away. "Why did you not tell me?"
"He was raped, Da'an. There is no greater pain." Her eyes misted over. "I know. When he had no memory of it, I thought it for the best he had no reminder of the attack. Hopefully he would just go on like usual."
Da'an watched her from the corner of his eyes. "At the time, probably a seemingly benevolent decision. However, your mistake was in not informing me. He is in great pain and is in need of my assistance. As of now, it may already be too late."
"It is not me you must apologize to, Captain." He waved off her data stream before she could say more just in time to see Agent Sandoval and Zo'or portal into the audience chamber.
"Where is the Captain?"
"Captain Marquette has her own emotional censures doing more than we could. She cares very deeply for the Major and will be quite sometime in what is referred to as a guilty conscious. I believe it imperative for the life of my protector that we leave at once." He rose from his chair as Zo'or nodded his ascent once. "Is the shuttle ready?"
"Yes, Da'an. I am sure you know the way."
"Do you have the coordinates? I have Mit'gai awaiting my instructions." Zo'or walked ahead of his protector through the corridors of the Embassy with Da'an at his side. They reached the shuttle pad, the pilot already awaiting them to usher them inside.
"Liam's apartment, the Flat Planet Cafe."
The pilot acknowledged the location with a Taelon salute then took to the controls. Not waiting for the Taelons and Protector to strap in, she brought the drives online and took off. As they disappeared in the ID wave, another two followed.
Joshua came around, sitting up as his body ached from the blast. Something had struck him, hard. Or at least it felt like it. His entire body screamed with remembered pain as old nerves fired into life once more. In all his life, he only remembered feeling like this one time. Looking at his palms, he swore at the red burns. Just as he suspected, he had been shocked.
That brought back more of his recent memories. Liam. Looking around, he found the bags and their contents scattered around the landing. It took him a moment, but he found Liam huddled in a corner on the middle landing down the stairs. Crawling slowly as to avoid the refiring nerves, he made his way to the younger man.
As he got closer, his vision cleared and he noticed Liam's pale complexion take on a green tint. Fast as it started, it was gone. It flickered again and again the closer he got. "Liam?"
Liam slammed into the corner trying to scoot away, pulling his jacket tighter around him. His spiky hair was the only part of his head visible from under the jacket. He shook his head as Joshua got closer. "Stay away."
"Just stay away from me!" His arms brought this jacket closer about his body, hugging his mid section. "It hurts. Please make it stop."
"I want to try, if you'll let me." Joshua reached out a attentive hand to what he assumed was Liam's shoulder under the wadded jacket. When the younger man tried to jerk away, he grabbed him up in a fierce hold, keeping his arms tightly wrapped around him.
Liam let out a shriek as he fought to get away. "Let me go, just let me go, please, I'll do anything you want. Just let me go."
Joshua shook his head as he started to rock the young hybrid. "Sssshhh, it'll be okay."
"It hurts." Liam wrapped his arms around Joshua's chest as he pulled the man closer to him. Resting his head on Joshua's shoulder, he bit back on the tears as another spasm ripped through his body. When it was over, he looked up into the older man's face, placing a warm palm to his cheek. "I need you."
"Anything," he breathlessly whispered, drowning in hypnotizing, deep blue eyes.
Quicker than Joshua thought, Liam was unbuttoning his shirt. "What are you..." His words were cut off as Liam pressed their lips together.
When he pulled back, he looked the older man in the eyes again. "Need contact, body against body, the only way." His voice carried a hysterical lilt that made Joshua shiver. "Need your energy." Liam placed a glowing hand on Joshua's cheek, gently caressing his face. "Help me. Give yourself to me. Don't resist."
"Yes." And he meant it. Something inside him reached out as Liam's warm hands gently trailed down his spine through his tee-shirt. He grabbed the frantic hybrid's hands from his body, and forced him to back up a little. Quickly, he pulled his tee-shirt over his head, dropping it beside them. Taking a deep breath, Joshua, unbuttoned Liam's shirt, caressing his chest and stomach. He noted the odd paunch Liam's abs seemed to have developed with a curious eye. Before he could remark on not working out, Liam was desperately pressing their bodies together again.
Liam growled in frustration as Joshua forced him back once more. This time he knew what Joshua was doing and tore his shirt, jacket, and own tee-shirt from his body. Once the last was over his shoulders, still wrapped around his arms, Joshua pulled him close again, helping to pull it off his hands. Once the clothing was gone, Liam returned his arms around Joshua to stroke his spine.
"Wrap your arms around me, like this, rub along my spine." His dazed words were barely coherent. Liam's breathing increased as he held tighter to Joshua, stopping occasionally to groan in pain.
Joshua started to feel tired as his spine tingled, his mind numbed and body drained. His grip loosened as he fought to hold Liam closer. The belly Liam had developed, seemed to be getting bigger, preventing him from keeping them together. "Liam, I have to stop... feeling tired."
"No!" Liam's desperate cry carried the same tone of weakness. "Just a little more, please, I need more, need you." His hands ceased their movements as Joshua leaned back against the stair well wall, bringing Liam to lay across him. "Please, just a little more."
Joshua fought to keep his eyes open. "I can't, mmm too tired." His last words ended with a soft breath before Joshua's head drooped and laid on Liam's shoulder, fast asleep.
"But I need more energy." His weak whisper was muffled as he too went unconscious. His body flickered green twice more then stopped.
Outside the building, four consecutive sonic booms filled the morning air. There was shouting as a figure entered the stair well. The ringing echoes of boots running up stairs filled the well before stopping on the first landing. This was followed by as gasp as Lili ran up to the men's sides. "Liam?"
She tentatively touched his back only to pull him up at his pained moan. "Liam, you have to hold on, Da'an is on his way."
"'s too late." His mumbled words were barely audible. "Nah enough n-r-g." Then he turned slowly sideways as Joshua's arms came up around him protectively. One hand slid gently down his body to rub at his distended belly. It had stopped growing just as the belly button was flush with his skin.
"Stand aside, Captain." Zo'or's authoritive voice filled the well. He gestured for the agents to grab her and move her from the men's sides. He stayed at the bottom of the steps on the first landing, but watched as more agents came with a stretcher. "Take the Major to the mother ship, leave the other Human."
Da'an suddenly appeared at his side, staring up the stairs to Lili. "The Captain will make sure that Mr. Doors is taken care of." His tone brokered no questioning.
"Joshua Doors?" Zo'or stared closer at the second Human male and narrowed his eyes. "Why would he be visiting the Major?"
"I believe they had an altercation a few days ago. Perhaps when he awakens you may ask him yourself. Until then, we have other more important matters at hand." Da'an turned and stalked back down the stairs, the agents carrying Liam on the stretcher behind him.
Zo'or over saw their work then looked back once more to glare at Joshua's slumped figure and Lili at his side. "Do not be too gentle, Captain." He started off down the stairs with Sandoval taking a close second.
Lili watched in horror as they disappeared from sight out of the stair well. When she was sure they were gone, and the other three shuttles lifted off, she pulled out her global. It took three rings, but she finally got a response. "We have a problem."
"What is it now?"
"Liam and Joshua."
"What?" Johnathan's shout caused Joshua to flinch but nothing more. "What has my son to do with the Major? I thought we settled this yesterday."
"Apparently they had other ideas." Lili showed him the area of the landing, the scattered clothes, materials, books, cat products and lastly a shirtless Joshua. "I found them wrapped in each other's arms, stripped to the waist. Liam mumbled something about not enough energy and it being too late. I think something happened with the Jaridian we didn't know about."
"What the hell could that do with them two making out?"
"I don't think they were doing that at all. Joshua is unresponsive and when the Taelons took him, neither was Liam. Johnathan, there is something I didn't tell you, I didn't tell Da'an either, and he seemed to know more about it than I."
"Care to inform me already?"
"Liam wasn't just used by the Jaridian to filter his energy. He merged with him, joined with him."
Johnathan's face went bright red in anger but his voice was flat. "Which means what exactly?"
"That bastard raped him! If the ship hadn't killed him, I would have!" Lili stood up as she heard Joshua start to come around. Moving towards the apartment, she spoke in a low voice. "Johnathan, I think Liam is dying. His stomach was distended, skin sallow, he kept complaining about needing more energy like a dehydrated man after water." Tears filled her eyes as Johnathan shook his head. "It's all my fault. I should have told someone."
"That's enough! You don't have time to worry about that now. Get my son dressed and make sure he is gone before the media and police show up. Augur says alerts have already been made. When you got that done, get your ass up to that mother ship and try to salvage this situation. You are to use whatever means necessary to keep Liam's secrets from their hands, got that, Marquette?"
His face clicked out, disappearing to be replaced by the MCI logo.
Sighing, Lili reached down for Joshua's shirt. Her hands dropped it from shaking. Forcing herself to calm down, she grabbed it again, and put it in Joshua's arms. "Wake up, Joshua, the police and media are coming."
He didn't move.
"Damn it, Joshua, don't do this. Wake up." When he still didn't move, she put her hand to his neck. Eyes wide, she activated her global. Pressing an automatic dial, she stared beseechingly into it. "Come on, pick up."
Melissa Park's face appeared. "Lili? What is going on? I just received word from Da'an to report to the mother ship at my earliest convenience."
"There isn't any time to explain it all at the moment. Joshua needs your help."
"What are his symptoms? Does this have anything to do with why the Taelons want me..."
"Yes! Now listen, Joshua's skin is cold to the touch, and his pulse is incrediblely weak. I need you to prepare a Taelon energy transfusion for when I arrive."
"I will have it ready. You will explain it before I go up to the mother ship."
"I will. Thank you." She closed her global and put it back on her belt. Looking around the landing, she grabbed Liam's jacket and wrapped it around Joshua's shoulder. It was a little snug, but she slipped his arms through it and buttoned him in. Sighing in disgust, she dragged him by the shoulders down the stairs to the back entrance and her shuttle. Just as she had him strapped in, the first news van arrived. Cursing, she activated the controls and took off.
Johnathan stared at the screen in front of him, face carefully blanked. "Very well, thank you, Dr. Park. That will be all."
"That's it? He is your son, for god's sake!"
"I said that will be all!" He waited for her curt nod before turning off the screen. Sitting back, he took a moment to breathe. It was all he needed to compose himself. Johnathan glanced down at his controls then pressed four buttons.
The screen changed appearances, flashing to a the Flat Planet Cafe logo. This flashed to be replaced by Augur's face. "To what do I owe this pleasure, Johnathan? If you don't mind, I am a little busy doing damage control and a little business."
"Did you know Apollo once shot Artimise in the ass with an arrow?" His conversational tone made Augur's eyebrows shoot up.
"No, I did not, that's... strange."
"Yes, very tragic." A tight lipped smile. "I figured you might want to know what all that was about. My sources inform me that the Taelons have taken the Major to their little nest in the sky because of lack of energy. It seems he was desperate for some because of his little ordeal and my son just happened to be the nearest... source. Of course he is now being refueled by Taelon energy as we speak."
"That would explain a lot, like why there were four Taelon shuttles here, and why the press is so hot to get in. Not that my establishment isn't note worthy all by itself."
Johnathan snorted. "I'm sure. Keep them happy, and make sure none of this gets leaked." Before the black man could respond, he cut the link.
Looking around his office, he glared at the objects. Standing, he picked up the chair and brought it down against the glass topped desk before he tossed it through the glass wall behind him. He watched the chair fall fifty stories to land on a car in the parking lot. Growling, he whirled on the rest of the objects inside the office.
The Mother Ship hummed to the rhythm of her power cells. Her soothing sounds calmed the young hybrid as he laid back over the bunk provided him by the Healer. His eyes misted over from the pain every time they opened. Something hurt deep inside, and he could not figure out why. Liam rolled over a little to adjust the weak frame of his body.
Grimacing at the pain, he forced his body to settle down into the new position. His entire body ached from lack of energy. The Taelon Healer had told him when he awakened the first time it would for a few more days. That had been four hours ago.
He couldn't remember much since the time he had tried to drain Joshua. All he knew was this immense hunger, a familiar hunger. Memories flooded his mind from the Jaridian. It had been going through the same thing.
That struck something in his genetic memory.
Following the trail, he came to a conclusion he was suffering from an illness. A joining related illness. The Jaridian had passed it on to him when he forced Liam to... His mind shied away from that thought. Needless to say it was the Jaridian's fault. It couldn't handle the Taelon energy so it had forced him to accept the infected energy and cleanse it. In so doing, infecting him.
The Taelons had over come their need for energy from life forms, but that need had turned into a disease for some. Much to their shame, it could not be cured except by purging their energy through a compatible source, thus transferring it from them to another. This part Da'an had informed him of. The Taelon had informed him that there was an infected sample in the same lab as the Jaridians because they were going to try and see if the Jaridian's system could cure it.
He wouldn't say where they got the sample from.
Now he was laying here trying to avoid the pain. Well anymore pain. Apparently, a side effect for those of the Human persuasion, it caused symptoms coinciding with malnutrition. Raising his head, he glanced down at the smooth and now flat stomach. His body's mass had migrated there in an attempt to absorb it for energy leaving his limbs thin and pale.
They had said Dr. Park would be here soon, but that was four hours ago, as well. Sighing, he tried another position, hoping that it might provide relief. In his pain filled mind, it didn't register to ask how he had been cured.
Da'an and Mit'gai watched on as the Hybrid turned once more. Their steady gaze took in all his features with each contortion of pain. It was Mit'gai that broke the silence first.
"It should be dead."
Da'an glanced at him but did not turn away from the wall. "You above all others should know better than to underestimate the resilience of the Human species."
"Do not presume that I am unaware of this one's unique heritage."
Da'an said nothing.
"Why was I not informed of its presence. You jeopardize all our existences by simply allowing it to continue to draw breath."
"If it were not for this one, we might all be dead."
"Then it has merely postponed the inevitable."
At that, Da'an did face his fellow Taelon. "Has not recent events restored a little of your hopes for our future."
"No." Mit'gai gestured towards the one way transparent wall separating them and Liam. "His failure proves our greatest suspicions. It was only a matter of time." His words carried a note of crisp finality before he walked away.
Da'an turned back to the hybrid, hands still. Looking at the turning Liam, he allowed a small blush. "Then perhaps all is lost." Eyes down cast, he continued to observe the fitful protector.
In a darkened part of the ship, Zo'or walked to a far wall, a small purple bundle in his hands. His expression neutral, he placed it into the small alcove then with drew. As he pulled back, a transparent barrier appeared over bundle. Zo'or turned to go. Taking one last look around at the countless similar alcoves, he walked out of the chamber allowing it to seal after him.
At the quickly beeping of heart monitors, Dr. Park looked up from the charts with a smile. "Welcome back to the land of the living, Josh."
"Don't call me that!" What was supposed to be a harsh growl came out as a timid whisper. Joshua groaned as she messed his hair. "Why am I here?"
"Drink something before you talk again. Just listening to you makes me want to clear my throat." She held up a cup with a straw to his lips. As he gratefully sipped, she pushed his hair back in place. Taking the water back from his lips, she set it down on the table. "There now, perhaps we can get you to answer a few questions, and then I can give you a few answers."
"Why do I always have to..."
"Go first? Well because I am older, now just answer my questions. What was the last thing you remember before waking up here minus any dreams or sensory images that could be waking?"
He eyed her suspiciously. "Do this a lot?"
"Only with you, now answer the question before I decide you need another physical."
Melissa smacked him up side the head. "Enough with the names, Tinkerbell, and get on with the answer."
"Yes, Dorothy!" He jerked back from her hand, tongue sticking out. "Liam had come up the stairs, I confronted him about father, and he tried to blow me off. When I touched his arm, he lost it and that is the last I remember. Can't think of anything else. I take that back, I do remember feeling being drained like when you stick me with those damned pain killers. Not the regular ones, the opiates."
"Okay, well that confirms what the Taelons have told me. You should be up and about in a few days. Until then, plenty of bed rest and fluids." She pressed an electrical pen to the charts, making a note, and turned to go.
"Hey, Aunty M., what about those answers?"
Melissa stopped, looked over her shoulder with a quirked eyebrow, and smirked. "I lied. It is a need to know situation, and you don't need to know."
"You really are a bitch! What about Liam? Is he hurt?"
"He is on the MotherShip in stable condition. Or at least that is what the Taelon Healer Mit'gai or something keeps telling me. I haven't been able to get away long enough to check on him myself."
Joshua sat up in bed again. "How long has it been exactly?"
Melissa waked back to him before pushing him back down in the bed. "Three days, so you need to spend a few more under observation and resting. Now lay back and rest, unless you want to feel my 'damned pain killers' again as I sedate you." She grabbed the remote off the safety rail of his bed, and clicked on the TV to the first station. Setting it back on the rail, she smiled. "Let the idiot box numb your mind into a sleep. Good night." She walked out chuckling at his aggravated growl.
Joshua let the drone of the news anchor woman rush over him as he laid back into his pillows. At her words his eyes popped open.
"And there is still no word on the condition of Presidential candidate, Johnathan Doors, after his heart attack three days ago following news of the hospitalization of his son, Joshua Doors. From his office at Doors International on the fiftieth floor of their New York Head Quarters, he was rushed to near by Angels of Mercy Hospital listed in critical condition. So far Doctors are refusing to comment, but an official spokes person of Doors International has scheduled a press conference for eight am. eastern standard time."
"Son of a bitch!" Joshua glared at the woman as if she was responsible for the turn of events. "That bastard always has to over shadow everything I do!"
"In other news, the first transplant of a Human consciousness into a cybernetic being, is still set for later tomorrow. This project, which is being over seen by the North American Companion, Da'an, is said to be the future hope for all who are bound in a body which, for reasons beyond our control, is unable to allow them to lead normal lives because of severe physical impairment. As the creator of this project and completely disabled individual, Dr. Sparrow will be the first transferred consciousness. If he proves a success, this will pave the way for future transferences..."
She grabbed her ear, covering the piece as she focused on it. "This just in, a former Indonesian laser satellite has fired on the dark side of the moon. What its target was exactly, we have no idea. However, observatories and monitoring satellites have picked up a massive explosion, the equivalent of a several million kiloton nuclear blast. It is not clear what exactly has been destroyed, but our sources say what was there, could not have survived the attack."
Her eyes went wide as a screech filled the studio. "Oh god! They're dying! The Taelons! They're dying!" Her screams joined them as she clutched at the ear piece trying to rip it from her ear.
Joshua watched in stunned horror as she pulled the bloody ear piece from her ear before the screen was placed with the multi colored bars of the emergency broadcast system. "Oh shit."