Fandom & Pairing: Star Trek Reboot (aka AOS, ST XI, etc.), Pike/McCoy
Warnings: Non-con, slavery, mpreg
Word Count: around 10,600
Summary: Everything had changed on Burning Night, and Leonard was just surviving from day to day. Then a certain gray-eyed Commandant appeared and everything changed again.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to anything whatsoever is purely coincidental.
A/N : This is set in an AU based on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Basically, all you need to know is that it's a future dystopia; there's a totalitarian government that enforces a rigid caste system, birthrates are low and those who can bear children are slaves of the state.
Leonard straightened his drab gray trousers, wincing at the soreness in his ass. Damn, he hated it when Jeffers was the Shepherd on duty. The man was underendowed with brains but unfortunately over-endowed elsewhere, and even more unfortunately, he had taken a shine to Leonard. It could have been worse, though. He could've been one of the poor bastards shipped out to the colonies, cleaning up radioactive waste without any protective gear.
Still, when a person's choices boiled down to repeated rape or slow death by radiation poisoning, there was something deeply fucked-up about the world. He tightened his mouth and forced himself into motion. No point dwelling on things that couldn't be changed. He grabbed his medical bag from the scuffed floor and left the room without glancing behind him. If he saw Jeffers' smug face he'd want to punch the asshole's teeth in and he'd been down that road before. It hadn't been pleasant.
He started his morning rounds, checking on the pregnant bearers in their white gowns. He suppressed a stab of envy -- it wasn't like it was that wonderful to be a virtual prisoner, confined to bed except for bathroom trips and sedate daily walks around the compound. Though at least they got to go outside, and they were free from unwanted attentions... until they'd given birth and their babies were taken away and the whole process began again.
May and Lucinda were doing well, but Brian was looking a little pale and lethargic, and Leonard didn't like it. He placed a hand on Brian's swollen belly, feeling for movement. There was a weak flutter under his palm, nothing like the vigorous kicking of the prior weeks. He swallowed hard. This was the worst part of his whole miserable existence.
"I don't know, Brian. The baby's still alive for now, but..." He shook his head.
Brian squeezed his eyes shut and nodded briefly.
"I'm putting you on complete bed-rest. No more walks. No more bathroom trips. You'll have to use a bedpan. I'll check on you again in an hour, all right?"
Brian nodded once again in acknowledgement, but his lips were already forming the words of the Bearer's Plea.
Prayer and rest. Fuck. This was what the state of medicine was reduced to. In the Before Times, he would have had a medical scanner available to tell him exactly what was wrong with Brian's baby. And he would have damn well been able to fix whatever the problem was -- whether it required an advanced laser surgical procedure or a cocktail of delicately calibrated drugs delivered via hypospray.
Of course, in the Before Times, a man wouldn't have been able to get pregnant in the first place. No one was really sure what had caused that mutation -- some said it was the gamma radiation from the weaponry used during the Romulan Conflict, others said it was a biological agent that had been deployed by terrorists. No one was even certain whether it was the same mutation that had caused the human birthrate to plunge to potential extinction levels, or whether they were from different causes. Or maybe the birthrate plunge had triggered the mutation that allowed men to bear children. It didn't really matter. The result was the same.
About the only silver lining in the whole fucked up situation, if it even counted as a silver lining, was that the Klingons and Romulans had suffered the same fate. With birth rates so low, no one had the resources to wage intergalactic warfare, so at least there was peace -- or, more accurately, an uneasy detente -- for now. Hell, space travel had been practically suspended. Everyone was licking their wounds, trying to ensure the survival of their respective species.
Of course, if you asked Leonard, the way the humans had gone about it was just about the stupidest way possible, but then no one was asking him.
Christ, he was woolgathering again. Time to go check in on the bearers who were not with child. It was morning exercise hour and so he headed for the gymnasium.
After the quiet restfulness of the area he'd just left, the gym was jarring. Men and women in flowing red garments moved around the space like enormous butterflies. Technically, he should have been among them, but after multiple miscarriages no one was interested in using him as a bearer anymore, and so he'd been able to slip into a role as caretaker to the others -- well, and unwilling whore for the staff. But then again, being a whore was pretty much a given, no matter what he did.
Leonard made his rounds, stopping to talk to a few bearers who had recurring health issues. But overall, everyone was doing well. Or, as well as could be expected of people kept in sexual slavery.
There was a ripple of awareness through the room and Leonard turned to see what had caught everyone's attention. He found himself stilling, holding his breath.
The man who had just entered the room carried an unmistakable aura of power and command with him, and that was even without taking into account the iron-gray of his Commandant's uniform. He was around 50, Leonard estimated, his golden-brown hair shot through with gray the same shade as his clothing. His face was calm, without a hint of expression, but somehow Leonard got the impression of weariness and deep strength coexisting, and of resigned abhorrence at what he was seeing here.
His gaze swept the room, and he was obviously evaluating each bearer in a matter of seconds. Leonard was pretty sure that despite the rapidity of the evaluation, those sharp eyes didn't miss much. Then his eyes locked with Leonard's and Leonard forgot to breathe.
Leonard wasn't much of a romantic -- maybe he had been, in the Before Times, even if he'd kept it well-hidden. But the years had knocked it out of him, replacing it with a soul-deep wariness and cynicism. Still, something in him stirred unmistakably when this man looked at him. From the mere fact that the man hadn't continued with his survey, but was instead still maintaining their locked gaze, he guessed that maybe he felt something too.
Without ever looking away from Leonard, the man said something to his companion, and Leonard now realized that the Administrator of the Centre was at the man's side. That was highly unusual. Men looking for a bearer -- and that was obviously what was going on here -- didn't usually rate the Administrator's personal attention.
He strained his ears, but could only catch a few words.
“…bearer?” That was the visitor.
“Technically, but…” Leonard couldn’t hear the rest of the Administrator’s sentence but he knew he was being discussed, his strange hybrid staff-bearer position here at the Centre being explained.
He saw the Administrator's face twist in displeasure at what the Commandant was saying to him in return, but the Administrator beckoned him over nonetheless. Leonard's feet were already moving, and he felt dazed, not fully in control of his actions. It was a strange sensation.
As he approached them, he could see that the Commandant's eyes were a steely gray-blue, and that there were deep lines of worry and exhaustion etched on his handsome face. He had the bizarre urge to smooth those lines away. He kept both of his hands firmly at his sides.
"Yes, Administrator?" he asked. He kept his eyes, though, on the Commandant, who raised an eyebrow at him. He realized that his continued eye contact could be construed as impudence, even insubordination. It didn't stop him from maintaining his gaze. He thought he saw the ghost of a smile on the Commandant's face, and then suddenly he was released from that penetrating gaze as the man turned to the Administrator. Leonard felt as though he'd been freed from a physical grasp.
"I'll take this one," the man was saying in a low voice.
"Surely one of the others would be more suitable. Leonard has repeatedly demonstrated his inability to carry to term, and -- "
"Him." The Commandant's voice brooked no disagreement. Leonard flushed dully at the conversation, but had no time to brood over it because now the Commandant was addressing him.
"My name is Christopher Pike," he said. "You're mine now."
Leonard bristled, and glared. "Yes, sir," he said, in his best "fuck you" tone of voice. He didn't belong to anyone, no matter what the law said. Pike just looked at him with faint amusement, and that hint of a smile was back.
"Come on," Pike told him. "Let's go home."
Leonard snorted. Home. There hadn't been a single place he'd call "home" since the Before Times. But Pike was leaving now, already walking out of the room, clearly expecting him to follow, and the Administrator was giving him a murderous look. It wasn't like he had much of a choice anyway, and he might as well retain what shreds of dignity he could, walking out rather than being dragged.
Pike wasted no time. Within fifteen minutes, Leonard's meager belongings, which consisted of his medical bag and a few changes of clothing, had been gathered up, and his ownership papers had been officially transferred to Pike.
He thought about Brian -- he'd never know, now, whether he miscarried or not, but it wasn't like he could have done anything about it, one way or another. He could only hope that Brian -- and Lucinda, and May, and all the rest of the bearers -- would be all right. Though really, how could they be, in this hellish situation?
Then those thoughts were swept away as Pike led him outside and into a hovercar. Pike slid in next to him in the back seat and the driver took off smoothly. They exited the gates of the Centre and within a few minutes they had entered the city proper. He knew he was gawking, but he couldn't help it. It had been -- god damn, it had been nearly three years since he'd been beyond the walls of the Centre's compound. Most bearers spent their entire pregnancy at the Centre. Only the very rich or very powerful could procure sole ownership of a bearer.
The city passed by all too quickly and soon they were crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge, and then they were turning off onto a side road and entering another walled compound. This must be Pike's property. It was set back, high in the rolling green hills of Marin County, and it was beautiful, lush and green and almost wild. The hovercar pulled up in front of the house, a large two-story wooden structure painted in dark, muted colors. McCoy was no expert in architecture, but it looked like a craftsman-style house. If it was original, and he'd bet that it was, then it was built back in the early 20th century, making it hundreds of years old. He looked surreptitiously over at Pike. It wasn't the kind of place he'd expect a Commandant to live, since most officers of the Regime lived at the top of the glass and metal towers that made up the city, but then he was already getting the distinct impression that Pike wasn't a typical officer of the Regime.
Pike ushered him inside, and a maid came and took Leonard's bags. The inside of the house matched the outside, with an understated sense of age, sturdiness, and solidity. The floors were dark wood, the walls a creamy, soothing yellow with white crown molding. The furniture was plain and comfortable-looking, but obviously high-quality.
"It's just about lunchtime," Pike said, breaking the silence. "Frederick will have something prepared. Follow me."
Pike's high-handedness was annoying, but it could have been far worse. Then again, who knew what was coming? Maybe it would get worse, though... somehow, he didn't think so. Pike was obviously powerful, but he didn't strike Leonard as brutal or cruel. Well, he'd find out soon enough.
Lunch was a quiet affair. The food was better than anything Leonard had had in years, since the Before Times. There was tomato soup, and grilled fish, and vegetables topped with real butter. He tried not to dive in like a pig, but he wasn't sure he succeeded. He couldn't stop the small moans of appreciation, though, and the expression on his face, he was sure, was nothing short of ridiculous.
Pike didn't seem put off, though, just watching him with that look of faint amusement and tolerance while he ate his own lunch.
Finally he'd had his fill, and a servant came to clear the dishes from the table.
Pike leaned forward on his elbows, suddenly all business. “We need to discuss expectations. I think you’ll find that I’m not an unreasonable man. Your time is your own, except for when I require your… services. You can go anywhere on the property, with the exception of my office, which I keep locked anyway. If you are interested in going to the city, let me know, and if possible I’ll arrange for you to go there, with a chaperone. You are more than welcome to interact with the members of the staff, but you are not to engage in intimacy with anyone but me. Do you have any questions?”
Leonard shook his head. He felt numb – he was exhausted and overwhelmed by all that had happened. He was sure that as soon as he was feeling a bit more like himself, he’d have plenty of questions, but right now articulating any of them was beyond him.
Pike cocked his head at Leonard, then nodded. “Maybe later, then. Hannah will show you to my room, and if you want you can take a shower and get changed.”
“Your room?” That certainly caught Leonard’s attention.
“Yes. You’ll be staying in my room, sleeping in my bed.” It was a simple statement of fact, and Leonard shivered a little at the implications.
Wasn’t like he had any choice in the matter, though, so he just said, “Yeah, a shower would be good.”
As if she’d been listening to the conversation – and hell, maybe she had – the maid who had taken his bag appeared. Hannah, Leonard presumed. She was young, maybe early 20s. She had brown hair tucked up into her ruffled cap, and a plain gray dress that somehow looked far more comfortable than the garments worn by servants at the Centre. Leonard followed her upstairs. He only got a brief impression of the bedroom, modestly sized and with solid, unostentatious furniture, before he was led into the master bathroom. It had a clawfoot tub and a separate shower cubicle. It wasn’t luxurious, but it matched the rest of the house - simple, functional, and somehow welcoming.
Hannah produced a neatly-folded, soft-looking towel and set it on the counter adjacent to the shower stall. “There will be clothing for you in the bedroom when you’re done.”
Her voice was soft, and her eyes lowered as a servant’s were supposed to be. He wasn’t sure if he should introduce himself, but finally he just shrugged. “Thanks,” was all he said.
She nodded and withdrew. Leonard stripped quickly and got into the shower. The water was blessedly hot. At the Centre, the only showers to be had were both communal and tepid. This was a luxury he could get used to all too easily.
Quite a while after he was clean, but before he really wanted to, he turned off the water and stepped out onto a thick bath mat. The towel he’d been given was just as soft as it looked, and he reveled in the feeling of plush, absorbent terrycloth against his skin.
Then he cautiously opened the bathroom door, peeking into the master bedroom. He didn’t particularly want to be naked in front of Hannah, although it wasn’t really like he had much modesty anymore after his years in the Centre. The coast was clear, though, and he stepped out into the bedroom.
There was clothing laid out on the bed – not the drab, scratchy gray material of his Centre staff uniform, nor the flowing red garments of a bearer. Instead, there were some kind of loose-fitting brown trousers, smooth as silk against his skin as he pulled them on, and a white linen shirt.
He was a little taken aback. Uniforms were an integral part of the Regime, a way to distinguish between classes at a bare glance, as well as an effective psychological tool for keeping people in their place. Somehow, when you wore a uniform long enough, you learned to accept the role you were dressed for. Private owners of slaves, though, were permitted to dress their people any way they wanted. He felt freer now, wearing clothes that didn’t proclaim his status to the world. He was sure that Pike understood very well the favor that he had bestowed upon Leonard, and there would no doubt be payment of some kind exacted. Wasn’t much he could do about that, though, so he might as well enjoy it as well as he could.
No one came to get him after he was dressed, so he cautiously poked his head into the hallway. It was deserted. He decided to take a look around – he wasn’t exactly the meek and retiring type who would just sit and wait until someone got around to telling him what to do next.
The upstairs consisted of a few bedrooms, another bathroom, and a locked room that Leonard assumed was Pike’s mysterious study. He wasn’t particularly curious about it – pretty clear that it would be Regime business in there, and the less Leonard had to do with the Regime, the better.
Having explored the upstairs, he descended to the lower story. He’d been in the dining room already, so he went the other way, finding a den lined with built-in bookcases. They were filled with actual antique paper books from the Before Times. Leonard whistled silently. Books were proscribed, but he supposed that a Commandant could get a special dispensation. Maybe Pike would even let him read them. Of course, Bearers and other servants weren’t legally allowed to read, so maybe not.
Still, he could at least touch them, so he fingered the spines of the books, enjoying the tactile sensation against his fingertips.
Reluctantly leaving the library, he found a living room with comfortable-looking couches and armchairs placed around a viewscreen that was currently turned to the Regime’s newsnet. No big surprise there. Of course, the “news” was bullshit propaganda, but it was the only source of information that was readily available. And it wouldn’t get you shipped to the colonies either, unlike other sources of news.
The living room had large french doors that opened into the back yard. Well, “yard” wasn’t quite accurate – more like the back acreage of the property. From his vantage point, Leonard could see a chicken coop, a large vegetable garden, and a fenced grassy area that held a cow and a pig, both placidly munching some kind of feed from a trough. The presence of the cow explained the butter on his vegetables at lunch. It was nice to know he had that to look forward to, hopefully on a regular basis.
There was a meandering path that led into denser vegetation beyond that. Leonard didn’t see any fences or walls, so the property had to extend pretty far back. It would be nice to actually have some space to wander in, assuming that Pike had meant it when he said that Leonard could move around the property at will. He decided to test Pike’s statement, and opened the french doors, stepping outside. No alarms went up, and Leonard cautiously took a few more steps away from the house. Still nothing.
Emboldened, Leonard decided to go for a walk. He headed out past the cleared areas, into the wilder portions of the property. He spent the afternoon rambling, walking among trees, without a wall or another soul in sight. He felt like he could breathe free for the first time since the night the Regime took power - Burning Night. Distant memories of flames tried to rise up in Leonard’s mind, with the sounds of shouting and the smell of burning flesh, the hysterical cries of a child, and he forcibly pushed them away. Remembering did no good.
It was getting on toward dusk now, and he’d better get back. He hadn’t meant to stay out this long, really, but once he’d had a taste of freedom, however illusory, he wanted to make it last.
He reluctantly turned back, not really surprised to find Pike waiting for him when he reached the house. He glared a Pike with a mixture of fear and resentment, hating himself for the fear but unable to contain it. Now he’d find out what the punishment would be for taking advantage of the permission granted to him to explore and pushing it far beyond what Pike had probably intended for him to do.
Pike just raised an eyebrow at him and said calmly, “I thought you were going to miss dinner. Frederick’s cooking is really too good to go to waste.”
Leonard gawped. That was not what he’d expected, to say the least. Pike obviously noted his reaction, judging by the faint amusement that flickered over his face, but he just said, “Come on.”
Dinner was much like lunch – fresh food, simply prepared, and only Pike and Leonard at the table. Pike filled the silence with small talk – which vegetables were grown during which seasons, which plants and animals did well in the somewhat cool and foggy local climate, and the fish pond on the property, which Leonard had missed on his rambles, that provided trout for the table. Pike invited Leonard to work in the garden or fish in the pond if he so desired, but made it clear that it wasn’t part of his duties.
He was charming, attentive, and knowledgeable. Leonard, for his part, grunted when a response was clearly required of him and glared at nothing in particular during the rest of the time. He was aware that he was sulking rather spectacularly, but after all this wasn’t a goddamn date -- he was here, against his will, as a sex slave and brood mare, and he’d be damned if he’d let either of them forget it.
Pike didn’t seem to be put off by his surliness – in fact, he seemed to take it as a challenge, keeping up a low-key but pleasant stream of speech in the face of Leonard’s determined silence.
After dinner, they moved to the living room. Pike motioned for Leonard to sit on the couch, and he did, feeling slightly awkward. Pike sat on the other end of the couch – close enough for easy conversation but without crowding Leonard.
“We could watch something on one of the entertainment ‘nets, if you want, or talk, or you could pick out a book to read from the library.” Pike’s slight smirk told Leonard that he already knew which option he’d choose. Still, if this was a test, he wasn’t going to stick his neck out.
“Bearers aren’t allowed to read,” he said.
Pike looked into his eyes. Leonard suppressed a shiver – eyes the color of steel should have been cold, but they weren’t. They were warm and direct, and it was far too tempting to get lost in their depths. “Leonard, as you’ve probably surmised, I’m fairly highly placed in the Regime. As long as I toe the line outside of these walls, nobody looks too closely at what I do inside of them. Well, except for the insistence that I get a bearer and produce a child. But trust me when I say that there will be no repercussions if you wish to read.”
Leonard stared at Pike, trying to figure out what he was up to. Softening him up, it seemed like, though for what reason, he couldn’t quite figure out. He could have just thrown Leonard down on the floor and fucked him. No real need for all this… kindness. Leonard was suspicious of kindness.
Pike read him easily, and he raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. “No ulterior motives. Well, unless you count the fact that I prefer for my people to be happy. I don’t like the institution of slavery any more than you do – “
Leonard interrupted with a snort. “Try living it, then tell me that.”
“All right, that’s fair. Nevertheless, the idea is repugnant to me. I’d rather that you be happy. Quite frankly, I’d rather that you came to my bed willingly, but neither of us has much of a choice in that matter. But I can promise you that if you follow my few rules, you’ll be treated well and given a lot of latitude.”
Leonard was silent. It was a good deal. Better than most had – hell, better than he’d had since the Regime took over. But it was still slavery, however Pike wanted to dress it up.
When the silence had stretched out for a few moments, Pike spoke again. “Go on. Pick out a book. I’ll have tea brought in and do some work while you read.”
It was an invitation that Leonard couldn’t resist. He went into the den and spent his time perusing the bookshelves, noting the variety, from biographies to classic fiction. He paused when he came across a battered copy of Watership Down. It had been one of his favorites as a boy, and he’d always planned on sharing it with – he quickly shut down that line of thought. Still, he couldn’t resist the chance to re-read it, so he carefully removed it from its spot on the shelf and carried it into the living room.
Pike was already focused on a PADD, absently sipping from a mug, so Leonard sat back down on the couch without speaking. There was a tray now on the low table in front of the sofa, which held a pot of herbal tea – it smelled like mint and apples – and various accoutrements. No sugar, but that wasn’t really a surprise. There was honey, though, and that was an unexpected luxury. He idly wondered if Pike kept bees, as he added a dollop to his mug, and then he settled in to drink his tea and read about Hazel and Fiver and their search for a new home.
It was disturbingly cozy and domestic, and for the first time in as long as he could remember, Leonard felt almost content.
As the evening wore on, though, he became more and more nervous. Pike seemed like a decent man, all things considered, but that didn’t mean that Leonard wanted to have sex with him. Not that he was unattractive – under different circumstances, Leonard could easily see himself responding to Pike’s obvious charisma. But he’d never liked being coerced, and he wasn’t about to forget that very shortly he’d be expected to spread his legs for someone who was, after all, a complete stranger.
Eventually Pike shut off his PADD and turned to Leonard. “Come on, let’s go up to bed.”
Leonard gulped, nodded jerkily, and followed. The walk to the bedroom was made in silence. When they entered the room, Pike closed the door behind Leonard. Pike immediately began to strip, efficiently and without fuss, piling his clothes neatly in a chair in the corner. Leonard kept his eyes firmly fixed on that chair, and not on Pike’s body. He didn’t remove his own clothes either – maybe it was petty, but he’d be damned if he’d act like he was doing this willingly. He’d wait until Pike ordered him to do it.
The silence continued, though, and no order was forthcoming. Leonard frowned. He risked a peek at Pike, who was pulling on a soft cotton t-shirt over a pair of ancient, faded flannel pajama pants. Huh. That was… not what he expected. Pike motioned to the bed, and Leonard saw that another t-shirt and pair of pajama pants were folded there. He glared suspiciously at Pike. Was he trying to lull Leonard into a false sense of security?
Pike, for his part, sighed and rolled his eyes. “I’m not going to ravish you, Leonard. I already told you, I prefer my partners willing. We may not have that luxury, but I’m not going to throw you onto the bed and force you. For tonight, at least, we can just sleep in the same bed, get used to each other. I won’t even touch you if you don’t want me to. I’ll stay on one side of the bed and you can stay on the other.”
Pike followed up this speech by pointedly climbing under the fluffy down comforter and turning his back to Leonard. Leonard waited for a few more moments, then he scrambled into the pajamas, leaving his body bare for as little time as possible. He hesitantly climbed into the bed on the far side and lay there stiffly.
He felt incredibly awkward. His nose itched, but he didn’t want to move to scratch it. He wasn’t in a very comfortable position, but again, he didn’t want to move around and risk drawing attention to himself. He believed Pike when he said he wouldn’t force him, at least tonight, but… no point in taking unnecessary risks. He tried to keep his breathing slow and even, but it felt forced and he was starting to get lightheaded from the unnatural pattern of breaths. He closed his eyes tightly and willed himself to sleep, not that that ever did any good.
He heard Pike’s breath deepen and take on a slight rasp of a snore, and that let Leonard relax enough to scratch his nose, get into a more comfortable position, and finally, finally, drift off to sleep.
When he woke the next morning, Pike was gone, and there was a clean set of clothes laid out for Leonard. He took a quick shower, dressed, and then wandered downstairs in search of breakfast. Poking his head into the kitchen, he saw a man he assumed to be Frederick, the chef, kneading a large mass of dough.
He was totally focused on his work, and Leonard took a moment to study him. He was short and stocky, with dark hair and features that suggested a Pacific Islander background. His face was intent and serious, but he didn’t have the edge of desperation and despair that Leonard so often saw on the faces around him.
Leonard’s stomach grumbled and Frederick looked up sharply, regarding him with suspicion. “May I help you?” Frederick asked, voice carefully neutral.
This was going to be awkward – technically they were both servants, and the same rank. But in practice, the relationship between bearers and other servants was strained. Some servants thought bearers had it easy – all they had to do was sleep with the boss, and they got coddled and waited upon by the other servants. Of course, most bearers would rather do cooking or cleaning than have their bodies used against their will, both for sex and for gestating babies who would either not survive to term or, if they did, would be taken from their birth parent immediately.
Or at least, that was what Leonard had heard from the bearers at the Centre who had previously been private bearers in a large household. He’d never had a chance to experience the dynamic for himself before.
It wasn’t really in his nature to be friendly, but he figured that since he was the newcomer here, it was up to him to make the first move.
“Hi there, I’m Leonard, and you must be Frederick.”
The man nodded but made no move to shake hands. Of course, his hands were buried in dough, so that was understandable.
“I wanted to thank you for the meals I’ve had so far,” Leonard continued. “They were fantastic. I haven’t eaten so well in years.” The “since the Before Times” went unsaid, but they both heard it.
Frederick’s eyes warmed just a bit, though his tone remained neutral. “You’re welcome. Would you like something for breakfast?”
“Oh, I don’t want to be any bother. I can just grab myself something – a piece of fruit, maybe, or some bread.”
Frederick shook his head. “The Commandant made it clear that you’re to be treated like a guest. Go sit down in the dining room and I’ll bring you breakfast.”
Leonard sighed. Pike probably meant well, but all he’d done was drive a wedge between him and the other servants before he even had a chance to get to know them. If Leonard was going to have any chance of fitting in here, he was going to have to undo the damage. “If you haven’t eaten, why don’t you sit down and have breakfast with me?”
Frederick stared at him for a moment, before finally nodding. Leonard wasn’t sure if Frederick was agreeing because he wanted to, or because he thought he had to do what Leonard asked, but either way, hopefully they could get to know each other a little better.
He went back out to the dining room, and sat at the table, running his fingers over the smooth grain of the wood as he heard Frederick moving around the kitchen. He heard a kettle whistle, he heard the sizzle of butter in a pan and then the unmistakable aroma of frying eggs wafted towards him. His mouth watered.
Within a few minutes, Frederick was bringing a tray out to the table. It held two plates of eggs and toast, a jar of some kind of homemade preserves, another jar of honey, and a pot of tea with two mugs.
They both busied themselves with food and drink for a few minutes before either of them spoke.
Leonard cast around for a safe topic. Talking about the Before Times was out. It wasn’t exactly prohibited, but it was certainly frowned upon. He didn’t want to ask about Pike and put Frederick in an awkward position of figuring out what to say that wouldn’t get him in trouble with their mutual boss.
He figured that talking about the food would be relatively innocuous, so he again complimented Frederick’s culinary skills and asked him about the jam. As he’d hoped, it relaxed Frederick and they chatted through breakfast about the wild blackberry bushes on the property and the blueberry seedlings that Frederick had just planted that year, which he hoped would bear fruit the following summer.
Hannah entered the room and began clearing the table, and immediately the relaxed, friendly environment that had been developing was gone. Frederick tensed and rose to his feet, retreating back to the kitchen without a word. Hannah just shrugged and gave him a small smile. Obviously there was some story there, but he was sure he wouldn’t get it until he’d been there for longer.
He shrugged back. “I’m Leonard. Nice to meet you.”
“Hannah. It’s part of my job to make sure that your stay here is comfortable, so if there’s anything you need, just let me know.” She peeked upward at him through her lashes. Holy hell – was she flirting with him? He didn’t know whether to be amused or horrified. He settled for a brief nod and a “thank you.” Then he beat a hasty retreat to the library.
He spent most of the day in an armchair in the living room, thumbing through a stack of books he’d selected from the library. It was a gray, drizzly day, and going outside didn’t seem quite as appealing today as it had yesterday. He wondered where Pike was, and he tried to suppress the unexpected feeling that he actually missed the man.
It was almost fully dark when he heard a hovercar outside, followed shortly by the opening and closing of the front door. Pike’s sudden presence was an almost palpable thing, even before Leonard could hear his voice. He heard low murmurs of instructions being given, though he couldn’t make out the words, and then, unmistakably, “Where’s Leonard?”
He heard Hannah’s responsive murmur and he’d risen to his feet before he even had time to think about it. The moment when Pike stepped into the room and their eyes met was nearly electric, just as it had been at the Centre. He and Pike moved toward each other, stopping, somewhat awkwardly, when less than a foot of distance separated them.
“Hello, Leonard.” Pike’s voice was husky.
“Commandant Pike,” Leonard said, swallowing hard. A brief grimace crossed Pike’s face and Leonard wondered what he’d done wrong.
“Please, call me Chris.” Well, that was an unusual request, but Leonard certainly wasn’t going to make an issue of it.
“All right. Chris,” he said. He felt almost breathless, and this was completely ridiculous. At least it seemed like he wasn’t the only one feeling it. He licked his lips, a nervous habit, and he saw Chris’s eyes drop to them immediately, his pupils expanding. Leonard froze.
Chris shook his head once, as if clearing it, and then took a step back. “I’m going to shower and change, and then we’ll have dinner.” Leonard nodded, and Chris turned on his heel and abruptly stalked out of the room. Leonard nearly sagged, the unbearable tension in the room suddenly gone.
He set his book down on the coffee table, mentally noting the page he was on before closing it, and then made his way into the dining room. Hannah was setting the table, and she offered him a quick but friendly smile. He nodded amicably in return.
Pike walked into the room then, and although his neutral expression didn’t change, Leonard was quite sure that his sharp eyes had caught the exchange. Leonard looked at Pike defiantly. He’d said he was welcome to befriend the other servants, after all. A brief, almost rueful smile passed over Pike’s features as he seated himself. He was wearing an outfit almost identical to Leonard’s, now, brown pants and a white shirt. He looked different without his uniform – more relaxed, more approachable.
“How was your day?” Pike asked him, and the question was so normal that Leonard was momentarily disoriented.
“Just fine, dear, and how was yours?” he parried, and that smile was back on Pike’s face, lasting a little longer this time. Leonard found himself smiling in return. He was a little surprised the expression didn’t cause his whole face to crumble and break off. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d smiled.
“Mmm, rough day at the office, but better now that I’m home,” Pike said, and Leonard found himself tutting mock-sympathetically.
They ate together, and it was as quiet as their previous meals had been, but there was a growing ease between them that hadn’t been there before. It was strange, because usually it took Leonard quite a while to warm up to people – well, to be honest, it was more like it took them a while to warm up to him. If they ever did. He wasn’t an easy man to get to know, and he liked it that way.
The hours after dinner were a repeat of the prior night, only this time Leonard selected one of the less-annoying options from the entertainment nets, since he’d spent most of the day reading. Pike worked on a PADD, but from time to time he looked up at the screen or at Leonard, letting his gaze linger. Leonard wasn’t sure if he liked those long, assessing looks or not.
Eventually Pike rose, shutting off his PADD and putting it down on the coffee table next to his empty mug of tea. When he stood and beckoned, Leonard turned off the viewscreen and rose as well, following Pike out of the room and up the stairs.
They prepared for bed silently, but Leonard was aware of a current between them. Pike had been patient, but surely that patience wouldn’t last forever. Leonard made an abrupt decision. He stripped off his pajamas and said, “Let’s get this over with.”
Pike looked at him for a long minute, then spoke. “Well, you sure know how to make a man feel wanted,” he said.
Leonard rolled his eyes. “We both know this isn’t about that – affection, lust, any of those things. It’s being forced on both of us.”
Pike’s face shuttered immediately. “I told you I wouldn’t force you.”
“Yeah, and I appreciate it. But we’ve got to do it sometime or other, and I’d rather get it over with, instead of having it hanging over my head.”
“And again with the ego strokes.”
Leonard didn’t reply, only crossed his arms over his chest. He’d made his position clear.
Pike let out a sigh, like Leonard was the one being unreasonable here, and said, “Come here.”
Leonard forced himself to step up in front of Pike, their faces only inches apart. From this distance, all he could see were Chris’s eyes, and they were so revealing, regarding him with a mixture of worry and desire.
Then Chris was leaning in, closing the distance between them, brushing dry lips against Leonard’s. Leonard sighed softly into the kiss. It had been ages since anyone had bothered with the niceties, and Leonard realized with a sudden ache how much he’d missed them.
Pike seemed to take that as a sign of approval, and he wasn’t wrong, really. He leaned in further, wrapped one hand around the back of Leonard’s neck, and deepened the kiss. Leonard was caught between the dual sensations of Pike’s callused fingers running gently through the short hairs at the nape of his neck, and the gentle, insistent press of his lips. It felt good. Better than good. It was goddamn incredible, was what it was.
After what felt like far too short a time, Pike pulled back and looked into his eyes, seemingly searching for something. “You okay?” he asked, and his voice was husky. Leonard nodded jerkily.
“I think we’ll be more comfortable if we get in bed,” Pike said. A spike of panic went through Leonard’s guts – was he really ready for this? But it was too late to back out now, so he climbed into the huge, soft bed and lay on his back.
When Chris moved to join him, Leonard asked, “Aren’t you going to take off your pajamas?”
Chris shook his head. “Not tonight.” Leonard was unutterably relieved. Didn’t matter that he was the one who’d initiated this – he knew in his heart of hearts that he wasn’t ready for it.
Chris gave a small smile that said he knew exactly how Leonard was feeling, but it wasn’t a mean smile, or a superior one. It was a gentle one. It was a smile that Leonard could get to like. A lot.
Chris laid down next to him and drew him back into strong, warm arms, and Leonard relaxed into it, knowing that nothing would be happening tonight that would make him uncomfortable. The feeling of safety was both strange and beguiling. Nothing in this new world was safe, and yet – Leonard felt secure, for the first time in years.
They kissed, and touched each other’s arms, faces, and chests, and although the heat between them was undeniable, Chris carefully kept it banked, not letting it flare out of control. Chris was hard and aching, and pressing up against Leonard, but Leonard's cock stayed stubbornly flaccid. He was beginning to thaw, beginning to think that he wanted Chris, but his body wasn't cooperating, wasn't ready. He groaned in frustration, and Chris pulled back fractionally, resting his forehead against Leonard’s.
“That’s enough for tonight,” Chris said. He looked into Leonard's eyes, and there was concern there, but no censure. Leonard didn't want to talk about it, though, and he turned his head away.
Chris's voice was gentle but matter-of-fact, which Len appreciated. It allowed him to keep control of his own emotions. "Hey, it's okay. I get it. I can be patient when it's worth it, and you're definitely worth it, Leonard. You can't force it, and I don't want you to. All right?"
“Yeah, all right,” Leonard agreed, feeling strangely shy.
Chris pushed at Leonard’s shoulder, urging him to roll over onto his other side. As soon as Leonard had done so, Chris pulled him close, spooning him, and wrapping one arm firmly around his middle. Leonard drifted to sleep, surprisingly content.
Days passed, and then weeks, flowing together like a lazy, sluggish river. Chris never pushed Leonard farther than he was comfortable with, and that comfort zone accordingly grew bit by bit. It might’ve gone on in that vein indefinitely if not for the visit from three Regime council members.
The day of the council members’ visit started very pleasantly. It was a Saturday, which meant that Chris didn’t have to go into the city. It had become their routine to sleep in a bit on the weekends, lazily holding and kissing each other, before finally getting out of bed. Then they’d share a shower, and they'd take their time, both washing themselves but sneaking little touches as well. It always left Chris rock hard and gasping, and left Leonard unaroused physically if not mentally, but strangely somehow neither was unsatisfied by these encounters. It was all Len was ready for, and Chris seemed to have both an uncanny ability to read Len, and infinite patience when it came to Len's comfort level.
They were talking more too – not about anything deep or heavy, certainly not about their pasts, but conversation flowed easily, something Len wasn't really used to. He thought that if they'd met under different circumstances, he could easily have found himself in love with Chris.
Saturday afternoon found them rambling the back acreage of Pike's property, quietly enjoying each other's company on an overcast, chilly day. As it approached dusk, they turned back, wanting to warm up with a hot drink and a wood fire. But when they got back in sight of the house, Pike suddenly stopped short, and Len stumbled into his back.
"What the hell?" Len grumbled, and Pike shushed him abruptly. Len stilled. Something was wrong.
Two women and one man were standing just outside of the back doors of the house, arms folded and wearing identical expressions of impatience. They were also wearing the severe jet-black of Regime council members. Shit. There was no way this could be good.
"Council members. This is a surprise. To what do I owe the honor?" Pike's voice was carefully neutral.
One of the two women, tall, and middle-aged, with close-cropped gray hair, stepped forward slightly and spoke. "Commandant Pike. As you know, you have been given an extreme amount of latitude in the matter of your duty to produce issue."
Leonard set his teeth and attempted to hold back a growl. "Produce issue"? The woman couldn't even say "get some unwilling slave pregnant with your baby"?
Pike was responding, though, and Len forced himself to focus. "Council members. Perhaps we'd be more comfortable having this discussion inside? Can I offer you refreshments?"
The male council member shook his head. "No thank you. And our visit will be short. We're here to inform you that a vid transmitter is being placed in your bedroom. The feed will be monitored to ensure that you copulate at least once per day until your bearer becomes pregnant. If your bearer does not become pregnant within six cycles, he will be removed and replaced by another of our choosing."
Leonard felt frozen. He felt Chris stiffen next to him as well, but Chris's voice remained smooth. "Council members. I appreciate your concerns, and I understand my duties, but surely these measures are not necessary."
The man spoke up again. "This isn't up for discussion. It has already been decided. We merely wanted to do you the courtesy of informing you in person. We will also be viewing the live transmission of tonight's feed to ensure that you take your responsibilities sufficiently seriously. There has been some question of that lately."
Then, without allowing Chris a chance to respond, the three turned and left, leaving behind a furious Leonard and a Chris who looked... almost frightened. Len felt the pull that he always felt around Chris, but now it was combined with the urge to comfort and reassure, and he found himself speaking low into Chris's ear.
"Hey, it'll be all right. We'll figure it out. And we'll give 'em one hell of a show tonight." It was part bravado, but... it was also true. He and Pike just fit together. They had since the beginning, despite the circumstances that had brought them into each other's lives. And he was ready to have sex with Chris. Well, pretty sure he was ready. He'd rather do it without observers, but he couldn't deny that part of him was secretly a little bit aroused that Chris would be claiming him in front of an audience.
Without really thinking about it, he reached out and laid a hand on Chris's shoulder, squeezing gently. It wasn't acceptable for servants, even bearers, to touch their masters uninvited, and for a moment Leonard froze, thinking he'd overstepped. But Chris turned to him, and some of the stiffness eased from his posture. His searching eyes met Len's.
"I don't want to make you do anything you're unwilling to do."
Leonard, for the first time in years, found himself actually blushing. Not flushing in anger, but an honest-to-god blush. He could even feel the tips of his ears burning. He dropped his eyes. "Not unwilling," he mumbled.
He felt Chris's fingers under his chin, and his head was gently tipped up so that their eyes were meeting again. "Are you sure?" In that question, there was a world of tenderness, mixed unmistakably with desire.
Leonard met his gaze and, for once, didn't even attempt to bluster or hide what he was feeling. "I'm sure."
The warmth in Chris's answering smile took his breath away. Chris reached his hand toward Leonard's face, and his thumb brushed gently over Len's cheekbone. Len turned into the caress, almost unbearably moved.
From the roughness in Chris's voice, he was similarly affected. "Come on, then. Let's have dinner, and then we'll go upstairs."
They took their meal in front of the living room fireplace, sitting on the carpet, picking at their plates and shooting glances at each other. The tension was nearly unbearable, but... in a good way. It was anticipation, not dread, that was making his heart beat faster.
It reminded him of the Before Times, in a way. Being with someone, knowing how the evening was going to end, but enjoying the build-up. He felt acutely aware of his own body, every nerve ending practically vibrating with pent-up energy. He was acutely aware of Chris's body, too, his lean contours covered in a layer of soft linen fabric, his exposed forearms corded with muscle and sprinkled with wiry hair, his bare feet long and elegant against the rug, his fingers sure and clever as they handled utensils and food. Those fingers would soon be on him, in him, and he shivered, a full-body shudder of wanting, at the thought.
Chris's brow instantly creased in concern. "Len, are you - "
"I'm good. Better than good. Are you done eating?" He could hear the huskiness in his own voice.
Chris swallowed hastily, his pupils dilating. "Yeah. I'm done. Let's go upstairs."
The walk from living room to bedroom had never seemed so long. Once they were there, Len spared a glance for the vidcam that had been installed in the corner of the room, and then he ignored it. The fact that they were being watched added a slight extra thrill for Leonard, but tonight wasn't about that. It was about his finally joining fully with Chris, and he planned to revel in every single moment of what was to come.
He approached the bed and then hesitated, unsure how to begin. It had been so long since he'd participated voluntarily in any sexual encounter, he felt like he'd forgotten how. But then Pike was in front of him, those clever fingers moving to the buttons of Len's shirt.
"Leonard. I want to take care of you tonight. Will you let me do that?"
Len nodded, feeling a little ashamed of his own passivity, but undeniably relieved. He let his arms hang at his side while Pike removed his shirt, and then Pike was moving downward, easing his trousers down his legs and over his feet as Leonard lifted each one in turn. Soon he stood naked in front of Chris, and he couldn't feel self-conscious, not with the way Chris was looking at him, the raw hunger written on his face.
As in their prior encounters, Len wasn't hard, and as much as he wanted this... well, he wasn't sure how, or whether, his body was going to react. Pike looked at him with concern, but Leonard shook his head, silently telling him that he didn't want to discuss it. Especially not in front of the camera. It wasn't necessary for him to get an erection, or have an orgasm, to complete their task, and he knew that Chris would make sure he enjoyed this, even if he couldn't come.
Chris guided him down onto the bed, until he was lying on his back, his legs slightly spread and arms loose at his sides. Then Chris stood back and surveyed him with unmistakable possessiveness. Leonard rolled his eyes even as he thrilled a little, inwardly, at that look of pure ownership on Chris's face. Chris quirked a smile as if he knew exactly how Leonard was reacting, even if he wouldn't admit to it, and then he efficiently stripped himself.
Leonard drank in the sight of Chris's lean, toned body. His skin wasn't quite as taut as it must've once been, and there were gray hairs sprinkled in with the light brown on his chest, but still. He was gorgeous. And he knew it, too, the bastard, his smile turning into a smirk as Leonard stared.
Chris knelt on the bed, one knee between Leonard's legs and one on the outside of his right thigh, straddling his right leg. Chris's cock was already filling and thickening against Leonard's skin. He leaned down and brushed his lips over Leonard's, and Leonard immediately lifted his head, trying to deepen the kiss. Chris wouldn't allow it, though, pulling back and pinning Leonard's shoulders with his hands.
"Shhh. I'm taking care of you, remember, Leonard? I'm in control tonight. Let me do the work. Your job is to lie there and take it. Clear?"
Fuck, but he hated giving up control. Not like he had any choice, though, and - he knew Chris wouldn't take advantage of his trust. So he reluctantly nodded and laid his head back on the pillow.
"Good, that's good, Leonard. Just lie still for me." Chris then started up a thorough, and excruciatingly slow, exploration of Leonard's body, touching, kissing, or licking every square centimeter of skin. Leonard was panting before even a few minutes had passed, his body now sheened with sweat from the effort of holding himself still.
His cock, though, was still stubbornly quiescent. Chris nuzzled it, sucked the head into his mouth, laved it with his tongue, but nothing happened. Leonard felt his cheeks burning with humiliation, but Chris just looked up and met his eyes, and he saw no judgment there, no amusement, and thank god, no pity - just understanding.
Chris slid back up Leonard's body, nipping at Leonard's neck, and whispering to him, too low for the cameras to catch. "I'd rather that you came too, Leonard. I'd rather take my time and wait until you were ready. But we've got to do this tonight. Now. I'll be as gentle as I can be, though."
Leonard nodded infinitesimally against Chris's head, which was still buried in the crook of Len's neck.
Chris pulled back, kneeling up to look at Leonard, concern on his face. But he said nothing, just reached over to the bedside and picked up the bottle of lube that had been set there, probably by Hannah.
Chris opened the bottle and poured some of the lube out onto his hand, carefully slicking up his fingers. "Lift your legs now, and bend your knees," he instructed.
Leonard did as he was told, holding himself open and exposed both for Chris, and for whoever was watching the feed from the camera. Chris touched his hole with a finger, and even though the contact was gentle, it still made him start. Chris soothed him, murmuring reassurances even as his finger pressed forward and through the tight ring of muscle.
Leonard gasped and instinctively tensed. He clenched around Chris and gave a low moan. He knew he had to relax, knew it would be much less painful if he did, but somehow it was easier said than done. Chris paused, giving him a few seconds to adjust. As soon as Leonard had relaxed his muscles a bit, though, he pushed in his finger the rest of the way, starting up a slow rhythm, fucking Leonard with one finger.
Chris was fully hard now, his cock pressing against his belly and leaking precome, and his eyes were glazed with desire, but he held himself back, and Leonard shivered, knowing that it was only Chris's iron will that was preventing this from being an agonizing experience for Leonard.
Chris added a second finger and Leonard grunted with the effort of staying still. In the Before Times, he'd never had sex with a man. In fact, he'd married his high school sweetheart, and they'd had a... no, he wasn't going to think about that. But he'd never been with a man in the Before Times, in any case, and his only experiences with men since then had been brutal and painful. And definitely non-consensual. No one had ever bothered to prepare him or see to his pleasure. So this was... different. Completely outside of his experience. The fingers in his ass felt strange, but not painful.
Experimentally, he bucked his hips a little, encouraging Chris to fuck him faster with two fingers. Chris groaned in pure lust and followed the unspoken request, sliding two slick fingers in and out of his passage until Leonard was completely used to the sensation. He raised an eyebrow at Leonard, and Leonard nodded. Chris then added a third finger, increasing the stretch and burn but not in a bad way. In fact, it was almost beginning to feel good.
He could feel his cock stirring, and he blinked in amazement. It seemed like his body and his subconscious mind had finally relaxed enough to allow him to respond to Chris's touch.
Chris noticed too, and gave Leonard a warm smile that held no condescension, just shared relief and happiness. Then he removed his fingers from Leonard's hole, carefully slicked up his cock, and rested the large, bulbous head of it against Leonard's opening.
Leonard took a deep breath. He could do this. He'd done it before, this wasn't so different. But good god, Chris was big, and pressing against him now, he felt even bigger.
He expected Chris to inch forward, pressing in slowly and giving him time to get used to the invasion. Instead, Chris dropped forward, his hands braced on the bed on either side of Leonard's shoulders, and surged forward, pushing home in one smooth thrust.
Leonard couldn't help it - he cried out, loudly. It was surprise - it was pain, but it was also pleasure, and he hadn't expected that.
Chris bent his head down and took Leonard's mouth in a possessive, thorough kiss, and Leonard could do nothing but surrender. Chris started thrusting, not fast, but deep and forceful, every stroke drawing a gasp out of Leonard. Len's cock was fully hard, for the first time in years, and he could have wept from that alone.
Chris seemed to read him, to know how close to the edge he was emotionally, because he gentled his kisses, even while keeping up the deep, punishing thrusts of his hips. A few tears leaked out of the corner of Leonard's eyes, and Chris kissed each one away tenderly, whispering endearments into Leonard's ear.
"Sweetheart, you're doing so good. I'm so proud of you. Just relax for me, let me make you feel good. Won't hurt you, never hurt you. Shit, Len, not gonna last much longer - it's too good, you're too tight. Gonna come in your ass, gonna bury my seed inside you and make you mine completely. God, you're beautiful like this, so exposed, so vulnerable. You're so good, baby."
While he was murmuring these words softly to Leonard, he reached down and took Len's cock in his hand, fisting it with firm strokes that had Leonard keening and arching toward Chris. Chris continued to speak into his ear, telling him how wonderful he was, and how perfect, and then Chris rubbed his thumb on the sweet spot just underneath the head of Len's cock, and Leonard exploded with a shout that no doubt was heard all throughout the house.
Chris moaned in response and thrust three more times before coming himself, arching his back, pressing his cock as far into Leonard as he could, and shuddering with the force of his orgasm. Leonard felt Chris's cock pulsing against the walls of his passage, and felt the warm wetness of Chris's release like a benediction.
A few moments later, Chris moved to pull out of Leonard. Leonard made a wordless sound of protest and wrapped arms and legs around Chris, holding him in place. Chris chuckled slightly, but acceded to Leonard's wishes and stayed buried in him. Eventually, though, Chris's now soft cock slipped out on its own, and they both groaned at the loss.
Chris collapsed onto the bed next to him, and immediately drew Leonard into his arms. Leonard's mind was trying to process what had just happened, the implications for him and for Chris and for the future, but he was too worn out. He couldn't think right now.
Chris stroked his arm softly and said, "Thank you, Leonard."
Len nodded, his throat suddenly tight. Chris continued, still in that gentle tone of voice. "Sleep now, baby. We'll figure out the rest tomorrow. All right?"
Len snuggled a little into the blankets. Strangely, he had no desire to get up and scrub himself clean, the way he always had in the past. In fact, he kind of liked that he was covered in the evidence of his and Chris's coupling. He was sticky and sweaty, but it felt good. He dropped his head onto Chris's shoulder and let himself drift off, sleeping dreamlessly for the first time in many months.
-end part 1-
Continue on to Part 2