Title: Evolution Takes You To The Most Unlikely Places
Challenge: Cliche (pon farr/forced to have sex)
Summary: Sloan is reminded why instinct can be so dangerous, because it's so unerring.
Note: I don't see this as a non-con story, but people who are sensitive about such issues should read under advisement.
***Evolution Takes You To The Most Unlikely Places
Sloan follows the map, hastily scrawled on a crumpled scrap of paper. The car kicks up dust on the narrow ribbon of road unfurling through the dun-colored desert, a half-hearted attempt at civilization in what appears to be a losing battle. There's nothing else out here, and if it weren't for the reassuring glow of headlights in the rearview mirror, Ed following close behind, Sloan would probably have turned around already. She darts a glance at Tom slumped in the backseat. In the dim light, his skin appears almost grey, sweat shining on his face. When he gave her these instructions, he still seemed mostly in his right mind, but the farther she drives into desolation, the more she starts to wonder.
Finally, though, there's a neon flicker on the horizon, over a slight rise, and then the sign comes into view, lurid glow splitting the darkness, Pink Shell Motel
, disturbingly suggestive given their purpose.
Ed pulls his car into the parking spot beside her.
"Keep an eye on him." She's already halfway to the office.
The clerk doesn't bother to look up from his crossword puzzle even when she says, "Something away from your other guests, if that's possible."
He takes her money, slides the key across the battered front desk. "To the right, all the way down."
They park in front of the room, struggle to get Tom out of the car, stumble under his weight. The room is far less colorful than its name, carpet worn a muddy shade, beige formica-topped dresser and table, bed a dull gunmetal gray. They sprawl Tom onto the mattress, and he lies very still, only his chest moving, too fast, his breathing increasingly shallow.
"The bag." Sloan looks to Ed.
He nods, goes, and Sloan hovers at the bedside. Tom is glassy-eyed. She pushes the hair back from his forehead, and he's burning up. When she hears Ed at the door, she snatches her hand away, as if she's been caught doing something wrong.
The bed is ancient, cast iron and immovable, and Sloan thinks maybe this is one of the reasons Tom chose this place. Ed makes quick work of the restraints, Tom's wrists and ankles firmly bound, and Sloan feels her throat clench, even though this is a promise, not a transgression. Ed takes a big step back when he finishes, as if he wants to disavow his own handiwork. They exchange an anxious glance. What are we going? We don't even know what we're doing.
"You should go." Sloan's voice is a tremor in the darkness, and only then does she realize they haven't turned on the lights, that they've been navigating by the pink glow coming in through the gap in the curtains.
She switches on a lamp, and Ed shifts his weight uneasily. "I really don't think you should do this alone."
"I promised him."
Ed swipes a hand through his hair, obviously frustrated. "Did you ever think that maybe he's asking too much?"
"If it were you," her tone is more reasonable than she feels, "would you want an audience?"
Ed hesitates and then, "Okay. But I'm not going back to the city. I'll get another room. You might need me."
He calls ten minutes later, makes her write down his room number, "just in case," even though they both know she won't ask for his help.
Tom twists restlessly on the bed. His clothes are dark with sweat, his eyes unfocused, and he murmurs brokenly, random nonsense, as if he's caught up in some delirium. The symptoms started almost a week ago, insomnia, night sweats, irritability, temperature careening wildly as if his body's thermostat was broken. Ed ran a battery of tests and when Sloan asked for the results, he answered distractedly, "I need to run them again."
me," Tom finally demanded.
"There's a surge of hormonal activity, way off the baseline we ran for you. It seems to be related to," Ed paused, "reproduction."
Tom went still and blank, and Sloan was reminded rather jarringly that he didn't know much more about himself than they knew about him. A cornered animal look in his eyes, and Sloan couldn't imagine how he must feel, his own nature one jolting surprise after another.
"I don't think I'm going to have much control. I can feel it-- slipping away." He looked down at the floor, and his voice got quieter. "Don't let me go to them. I'll think I want to. But--"
"I promise," Sloan whispered.
And she intends to keep it.
The first few hours, Tom is barely conscious, the effects all physical, and Sloan can manage this part okay. She gets ice from the machine, folds wet washcloths on his forehead, administers the occasional sedative to bring his heart rate down. It's when his eyes snap open, a hard light in them, something she's seen before but never from him, when he starts to talk, that the real hell begins.
"You can't win this," he tells her, voice coldly intimidating. "Better get used to the idea of being replaced. Now untie me." When she doesn't answer, he goes crazy, thrashing and pulling at the restraints, cataloguing all the things he's going to do, in graphic detail, when he gets free.
Sloan pretends she isn't listening, and wonders if the police are going to show up at the door, and hopes to God this is over soon. But it's not until the first gray light on the horizon that Tom finally quiets down and the fever breaks. He falls asleep, and she touches his face lightly, trying to reassure him, or maybe herself. "It's over now."
She takes her overnight bag into the bathroom, ignores the dirty floor and strips off her clothes that stink of fear. The hot water can't cure her exhaustion, but it does make her feel at least a little more human. She pulls on her robe afterwards, brushes her teeth, and is repacking her bag when the door slams open.
Tom is naked, his cock an angry red, standing out from his body, wrists raw and bloody where he's fought his way free of the restraints. His smile when he grabs Sloan's arm has ice water in it, and he crowds close, his breath against her cheek, "This isn't over until I say so."
Sloan has seen what happens to people who cross the new species. She closes her eyes and waits for it, blow to the head, hands at her throat. So it's almost funny that Tom lifting her, dumping her roughly onto the vanity is what makes her cry out. He pushes at the robe, forcing it off her shoulders, parts her thighs with his knee, and steps between her legs.
"Okay, okay," she says, just before he thrusts inside her, because no
won't matter to him now, but yes
The first fuck is frenzied, warmth soon flooding her insides. He doesn't get soft or pull out, just takes a second to catch his breath, and then he's moving in her again. This time, though, he's more controlled, more consciously predatory. He slides his hands under her thighs, cants her hips, and her head falls back, knocking against the wall, as his cock hits that one spot, over and over again. Tom's eyes light up almost cruelly, pure animal triumph, and Sloan is reminded why instinct can be so dangerous, because it's so unerring.
When he gets tired of the bathroom, he carries her to the bed, reaches for the restraints, but she pleads, "No. I'll do anything you want."
Dominion is part of his nature, and he smiles, enjoying her capitulation. He doesn't bother with the cuffs, although he does hold her down. She pretends to herself that this doesn't make her shiver. The new species is apparently tireless when driven by biological imperative. He never needs to rest for long before starting again. There are signs when the Tom she knows starts to come back to her, little things, the brush of his fingers over her side, his lips along the curve of her breast, a gradual easing of the relentless urge to fuck. She knows it's going to be all right when he whispers, "Sloan," shakily against her skin.
She touches his cheek, a silent "you're okay," and then she kisses him, because he's done all the taking, and now she needs something for herself.
The last time is the first time it's truly them. Sloan runs her hands over him, exploring, and he kisses a haphazard path down her body, up the insides of her thighs. She tangles her fingers in his hair as he works between her legs, tongue and fingers lighting her up again and again. She pulls him up and pushes him onto his back and sinks down onto him, even though she's sore and tired, because she needs something to counter balance everything that came before.
Afterwards, he stares up at the ceiling, and the silence is so palpable his voice seems to cleave it in half when he speaks, "I don't expect you to forgive me."
"I said okay."
It's all the comfort she has for either of them, and he looks like he's just been slapped.
"We should get some sleep," she says, as if that will change something.
She closes her eyes, and imagines her body like a battlefield, his essence and hers engaging in the most primal sort of combat, a mismatch of chromosomes fighting to make something together. If it's a fact and not just fear taking form in her thoughts, the rational part of her knows that she'll have options, but there's an emotional underside where the belief lurks that this is all somehow inevitable. She has knowledge she shouldn't possess, and he needs what he's supposed to supplant, and what if it's all adding up to something?
She feels him stroke her hair, as much tenderness in his touch now as there was unfeeling purpose before, and she shifts closer, rests her head on his chest.
"It's okay. It's over now."
Not that she really believes this.