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Critical Mass

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"C'mon, c'mon Beka. Open the damn hatch. We've only got fifteen hours down here and I want to make the most of them." Harper was scowling at the airlock doors and seemed to be almost crackling with suppressed energy.

"Calm down Harper, I'm just finishing the landing checks. I'll let you out in five."

Tyr strolled over. "Why are you so keen to visit a backwater planet with little or nothing of interest?"

Harper rolled his eyes. "Tyr, do you have any idea how long it is since I got shore leave? A long, long time. I want out of here. I want to meet someone who isn't crew or an allied diplomat. I want to be an anonymous face in the crowd, surrounded by people who don't give a damn about who I am and what I do. I want to cut loose and be me instead of the Andromeda's engineer. Okay?"

Tyr took a step back as Beka opened the airlock hatch and Harper shot out. "What's wrong with him?"

Beka grinned. "I'd guess a bad case of sexual frustration."

"I thought he was permanently frustrated?"

"Yeah, but I think he just reached critical mass." Beka stretched and laughed, "He's not the only one. I'll see you in fifteen hours Tyr. Have fun, I know I will." With that Beka hopped out of the airlock leaving Tyr to lock up the Maru.


Fourteen hours later Tyr returned to the Maru. He'd ordered an intriguing new design of grenade launcher, eaten a spicy high-protein meal and managed to persuade the chef to part with the recipe, enjoyed a relaxing massage and was now planning on an hour of quiet contemplation before he had to return to the Andromeda.

As soon as Tyr opened the doors he knew something was wrong. The scent of Harper, blood, adrenaline, and semen was thick in the enclosed space.

Tyr could hear the shower going. "Harper?" Tyr called out.

The water shut off and Tyr heard Harper slip out of the shower and wrap himself in something. The something turned out to be one of the really large bath sheets that Beka had pilfered from the Andromeda.

"Uh, hi Tyr. You're back early." Harper was cocooned in the towel, only his head and feet showing. Tyr noticed that Harper kept his face turned to one side.

"What happened?" Tyr asked.

Harper jumped. "Ah, just the usual shore leave debauchery. Give me a few minutes, I have to clean up back here." Harper vanished back into the crew quarters.

Tyr paused for a moment then followed Harper. He found him shoving the clothes he'd been wearing into a disposal bag. They were torn and bloody and stank of sweat, blood and other body fluids.

Tyr laid a hand on Harper's shoulder and sucked in a breath as Harper flinched and turned, exposing a large bruise on the side of his head. "Did someone hurt you?"

Harper pulled away and walked over to the disposal chute. Tyr didn't miss the slight limp. "Leave it Tyr," Harper said, "I got exactly what I was looking for."

"Beaten up?"

"A hard, fast fuck and a bar brawl." Harper pulled out some clean clothes and stared at Tyr pointedly until he left.



Tyr kept an eye on Harper over the next week. He wasn't sure what had happened to Harper while he was on shore leave, but he wasn't going to accept his explanation. The hyperactive aggressive edge that Harper had shown before they'd left was gone. But so was Harper's usual bounce. He was cheerful, but there was an expression in his eyes that Tyr could only describe as 'haunted'.

Tyr always tried to supress his compassionate side, usually denying that he even had one. Eventually though, he had to admit that he cared about Harper being hurt. It was nagging at him, and he needed to do something about it.

Tyr wasn't surprised to find Harper wedged into a tiny access duct. For some reason Harper always retreated to some small, cramped space whenever he was feeling down. Tyr supposed Harper's Earther upbringing made him feel safe in places Nietzscheans couldn't get into easily. Tyr could appreciate that, while he cursed and squeezed himself next to Harper.

Harper's eyes were wide. "What the hell are you doing in here?"

Tyr spared a glance at the bottle of beer in Harper's hand. "I wanted to talk to you."

Harper looked down at his feet. "About what?"

"You know what. What happened to you down on the planet?"

"That's none of your business."

"It is if one of my crewmates was hurt."

"I told you I got what I was looking for."

"You looked like you'd been raped."

There was silence of a moment before Harper spoke up. "I... I wasn't. Okay, so it wasn't a very nice fuck, but it was fully consensual."

"Your clothes were torn, you were bruised and bloodied and it was three days before you stopped limping."

"Look, I know what rape is okay? Rape is when you say 'stop' and they don't. I didn't say stop."

"Why not?"

Harper took another mouthful of beer. "I had to get it out of my system."

"Get what out of your system?"

"Wanting to get fucked by... by a man."

They sat in silence for a moment both pondering what had and hadn't been said.

"Did it work?" Tyr finally asked.

"Yes and no," Harper said grudgingly, picking at the label of his beer bottle. "I won't be following any more muscle-bound dickheads into alleyways, but I still have this... urge."

Several things clicked into place at once for Tyr. "Dylan or me?"

Harper flinched. "You don't want to know, okay? Beka told me what you said about interspecies mating. If you don't want to fuck her, you sure won't want to..."

Tyr stopped Harper talking by the simple method of covering his mouth. That he did so with his own mouth only made the silence sweeter. Harper tasted like beer and felt like caged lightning. Tyr could feel the tension in Harper winding up and then releasing as he leaned into the kiss and relaxed.

Harper was flushed and breathless when Tyr pulled back. "I thought..."

"That I only had sex with females of my own species?" Harper nodded. "I would only procreate with a female of my own species, but sex isn't just about procreation. I've had many pleasurable interludes with men."

Harper swallowed and gazed into Tyr's eyes. "Show me," he whispered.



Tyr wondered if he'd made a mistake bringing Harper to his quarters; Harper looked nervous and out of place. Tyr was about to ask if Harper would prefer they went somewhere else when Harper moved closer and wrapped his arms around Tyr. Tyr held Harper loosely; instinctively knowing that Harper needed gentle care and not a repeat of the rough treatment he'd received on shore leave. They stood motionless, Harper's face buried in Tyr's shirt for a few moments before slowly pulling apart enough to kiss.

Tyr could hear Harper's heart hammering and smell his arousal. Tyr could also feel and smell the fear that came pouring off him. Tyr suspected that Harper's experience with men was limited; perhaps to just the encounter on shore leave. "Harper, are you all right? This can wait."

"I don't want to wait: I might not ever get the courage to do this again. Please Tyr, show me what it's supposed to be like."

Tyr kissed Harper again, slowly drawing him closer to the bed. When he felt his knees hit the edge he pulled away slightly and sat down, his hands resting on Harper's hips and his face level with his stomach. Slowly Tyr drew Harper closer until he was standing between Tyr's legs. Tyr unfastened Harper's tool belt and dropped it to the floor as Harper untied Tyr's hair.

"I like it loose," Harper said quietly, toying with a couple of the ends.

Tyr smiled and pulled Harper's shirt up to kiss his stomach. Harper sucked in a breath and twitched as Tyr's hands slid slowly up and down his back. Tyr opened Harper's pants and kissed the line of wiry hair leading from Harper's navel down into his boxers. Harper jumped and then relaxed as Tyr tugged down the material, only to get out a groan as Tyr's mouth moved lower to breathe on his cock.

Tyr smiled as he watched Harper's cock thicken and rise up towards his face. Unable to resist he started laying light licks around Harper's shaft. Harper's fingers tightened in his hair, but it was worth it to hear the breathy needful noises above him. Sliding his hands down to cup Harper's ass, Tyr pulled Harper closer and rubbed his lips lightly over the tip of Harper's cock, before opening his mouth wide and working it down in a slow, twisting, sucking movement that had Harper bucking helplessly in his arms.

Tyr let Harper wriggle for a few moments before clamping his hands tightly on Harper's hips. Harper moaned in protest then let out a strangled, "Yeeeeessssss," as Tyr got to work in earnest: sucking up and down in long, hard strokes.

Tyr wasn't surprised to find out that Harper was a screamer. Harper made incoherent begging noises as he struggled to thrust into Tyr's mouth. Tyr took the desperate pulling on his hair in his stride and worked Harper's cock harder, his tongue darting over the underside as his mouth tugged at the hard flesh.

Tyr felt Harper's balls draw up as Harper started moaning, "Gonna... gonna..."

Tyr pushed his head further down and deliberately swallowed Harper's cock. It was too much for Harper who screamed and writhed as he spurted down Tyr's throat.

Tyr felt Harper going limp and quickly moved his arms up around Harper's waist to ease him down onto the bed. Harper's eyes were unfocused and Tyr chuckled as he stripped off his shirt. He'd known that Harper would very likely be a responsive partner, but he hadn't realised just how much pleasure he'd get from such a reaction to his attentions.

Tyr pulled off his boots and lay down next to Harper in just his leather pants. Harper's breathing was slowing down and Tyr amused himself by running his hands up and down Harper's exposed torso. Harper still had all his clothes on, but his shirt was pushed up and his pants were unfastened and twisted around his knees. To Tyr he looked the picture of debauched youth.

"Wow... Tyr... Uh, that wasn't what I was expecting. That was amazing. I've never... I mean I've done that before, but it was never like that."

"Good." Tyr said, "Do you want to stay a while? Perhaps try some more?" Tyr trailed his fingers higher, just barely brushing past the edge of Harper's left nipple.

Harper's breath caught. "Yeah, sure. I didn't do anything for you. Uh, what do you want me to do?"

With eyebrows raised, Tyr noticed Harper's cock twitch; he found it hard to believe that Harper could have such a fast recovery time. "What do you want to do?" Tyr asked. "This is your voyage of self discovery, not mine. You make the decisions."

Harper licked his lips and looked over at Tyr. "You know what I want."

Tyr moved closer and leaned over to kiss Harper. "Tell me."

"I want to feel you inside me. I thought I just wanted to get fucked, but I don't. I want you to fuck me."

"Are you fully healed from... last week?" Tyr asked, slowly easing Harper's shirt over his head. Harper's wrists caught in the fabric and Tyr felt himself get impossibly harder at the sight of Harper lying under him, flushed and with his arms trapped above his head.

"I'm fine: I filched some nanobots to help." Harper tugged his wrists free and kicked at the catches on his boots.

Tyr frowned. "How badly were you hurt?"

Harper flushed. "It doesn't matter."

Tyr moved down the bed and pulled off Harper's boots. "Yes, it does."

Harper sighed. "Enough that I'm scared about being fucked again. Not enough to put me off wanting you."

Tyr pulled off Harper's pants and climbed off the bed. He saw Harper's eyes go dark and his cock thicken as he watched Tyr slowly unfasten his pants. Making a show of it Tyr slipped his hand in and stoked himself before pulling his cock out and sliding the leather down over his ass.

Tyr could hear Harper's heart rate speeding up again as he peeled the leather off. Finally he stood totally naked at the end of the bed, Harper leaning back on one elbow and gazing up at him with lust-filled eyes.

Suddenly Harper was on his knees on the bed in front of Tyr, with his arms wrapped tightly around him and his mouth roaming over Tyr's chest. Tyr hissed as Harper ran his tongue in firm circles around one nipple as he stroked one hand up to pinch the other.

Tyr held Harper's head there for a moment, losing himself in the hot sparks of pleasure shooting down his body. Finally though he pushed Harper back up the bed and fished a tube of slick off his bedside table.

"Roll onto your side," Tyr said. "And pull your knee up."

Harper rolled over and Tyr kissed the skin around his dataport. It was obviously a sensitive spot as Harper started to wriggle again.

"Hold still a moment Harper," Tyr breathed. Harper tensed as Tyr snaked his hand lower. "Harper?"

"It's okay," Harper said. "Do it."

Tyr frowned. This wasn't working. Switching tracks he rolled Harper over onto his stomach and laid teasing kisses down the soft skin covering Harper's spine. Harper shivered under Tyr's mouth and hands, let out a low moan and spread his legs. Tyr knelt between Harper legs and let his tongue dip further and further down.

Tyr pushed Harper's ass down, spreading his cheeks and preventing Harper from humping the mattress. Harper started making gaspy little howls as Tyr's thick wet tongue probed his asshole. Tyr slowly worked in and out, keeping his action shallow.

"Please, please Tyr. More."

Tyr slipped his tongue deeper, teasing the tight muscle open and lubricating the area liberally with spit. Tyr slowly began to stroke Harper's perineum before gently pushing a finger inside. Harper tensed and Tyr stopped moving until he relaxed again. Another finger joined the first and Harper tensed again. Once more Tyr held still until Harper had adjusted and relaxed again. Tyr's fingers pumped in and out, as he started adding slick from the tube. Harper was moaning louder now as the slippery fingers pushed deeper and deeper.

Tyr curled his fingers and Harper screamed, bucking his hips and gasping in unexpected pleasure. "Oh God! Oh God! Tyr!"

Tyr spread a thick coating of slick onto his cock and pressed it slowly into Harper. Harper hissed and Tyr rolled them both over onto their sides. Harper pulled his knee up and Tyr slid forwards, barely lodging himself inside Harper. They lay panting, adjusting to the sensations before Harper pushed back, allowing another inch to glide into him.

Tyr took his time easing deeper. Harper stayed relaxed and Tyr reached around to cup Harper's balls and lightly stroke the base of Harper's flagging cock. "Okay?" Tyr asked.

"Yeah, just... slow?"

"Mmmm," Tyr agreed, kissing Harper's shoulder and moving his hips in a circle until he heard Harper gasp again and felt flesh hardening under his hand. "There?"

"Yeeeeees." Harper groaned as Tyr started a slow thrusting rhythm, brushing over that spot again and again.

Tyr resisted the temptation to bite down on the soft skin under his mouth. His body screamed with delayed gratification, urging him to move faster, harder, to thrust deeper and deeper until he came. He allowed himself to speed up slightly and buried his face in the sweat-soaked curve of Harper's neck. It had been far too long since he'd done this, and longer still since he'd done this with someone he actually cared about.

Harper was moaning continuously, his hips moving in time with Tyr's. Tyr's hand tightened on Harper's cock and he started stroking firmly up and down in counterpoint to his thrusts into Harper's ass.

Harper was shaking now and Tyr let himself groan as the muscles inside Harper clamped down rhythmically around him. Tyr's climax overcame him suddenly, all control deserting him as he plunged himself deeply into Harper and let go.

Tyr was vaguely aware of Harper crying out his name and a warm wetness covering his hand as he released himself in a series of shuddering spasms. Catching his breath, he was aware that Harper was still shaking.

"Harper? Are you all right?" Tyr asked, propping himself up on one elbow to look at Harper's face.

"All right? I have no fucking idea," Harper gasped. "Ask me again when someone turns the gravity back on."

Tyr chuckled and wrapped an arm around Harper's waist, glad the shakes were just adrenaline bleeding out of his system. They lay quietly, Tyr softening inside Harper, letting the sweat cool their bodies.

"Uh Tyr?"


"This doesn't mean I'm your mate or anything now does it?"

Tyr laughed quietly. "No. This type of relationship is traditionally kept informal among Nietzscheans."

"Okay, just checking. So this is a casual sort of thing?"

Tyr thought about it for a moment. "No."

Harper sighed and snuggled back against Tyr's chest. "Good."


The End