Let's Get Ready To Rumble (Part 5)
What Went Before....
Timeline: Prior to USS Nightingale's Departure
Tan’ato stirred, his green eyes opening slowly. His massive hand reached up to cup hers that was touching his face, running along her arm. “Morning,” he rumbled, leaning up to kiss her. “I don’t think we ever finished breakfast yesterday,” he said with amusement. His eyes ran lovingly over her naked body, though he seemed sated, content, for now. “You look beautiful.”
Pola found herself a little startled at the revelation. How long had they been lost to a world of sleep, only disturbed by their passion in between. It couldn’t be possible. She remembered each moment as if they had only happened in the minutes before. Each touch...each kiss...each murmured word as they sought satiation in each other.
His comment had no strong reaction. Instead, her body just warmed as the thumb of her hand moved to trace his swollen lower lip. “I feel beautiful. I feel like this could never end, and yet I’d never get bored or tired or feel these feelings for you any less. It all just feels so right.”
Tan’ato smiled. “I...have never felt this way about a female,” he admitted. “It is not the way of Orion males.” He kissed her fingers. “I still have several days here,” he told her. “You are welcome to stay, Cap--Pola.”
Pola instinct was to immediately say yes, but her after thought was what would happen then after those several days. While the time could be spent building more memories, just being together, ultimately the ending would stay the same. They would say good-bye. Would the hurt be worse for prolonging their separation?
It was only when she closed her eyes and leaned her head in against his that the impact of his other words finally hit. "What did you say?" Her mind was still a little fuzzy, and Pola wouldn't put it past herself that maybe she had misheard, part of her getting her hopes up that maybe something here could be made to work.
Tan’ato shrugged. “I have never had a female that made me feel like this,” he said, caressing back her dark hair. He kissed along her bare shoulder, gently tasting the sweat salt of her skin.
Pola closed her eyes as she savoured his touch. Her fingertips had moved from Tan’s lips to his back as they sought out and tenderly stroked each scar and indent on his upper back. She wasn’t sure what to feel or think, her mind so confused after he admitted the truth. Her mind drew back to the initial scene she had encountered upon her arrival. “How did it feel with Irissa?” There was no malice or hurt or pain in her words. The question was simply that, just a question.
“Irissa is a good friend, and was a mentor to me when I worked under her,” Tan’ato said. “There is an attraction there, yes. She is a beautiful female. And sex with a Betazoid telepath…” He let out a breath. “But neither one of us were looking for anything more than a fun release and a comforting companion. She could sense I was hurting over your leaving and provided a pleasurable distraction.”
That was the problem, wasn’t it? Tan was so carefree when it came to sex that it became difficult to understand what or who meant more. Closing her eyes, she felt the press of her lips against his skin and felt the responsive burning desire her body felt. Would it be such a bad thing to just accept the sex? He must enjoy it as much as that he experienced with a Betazoid, otherwise why would he have kept going for the night? “What do you think we should do now?”
“I think we should enjoy the time we have left before I have to report back to duty,” Tan’ato told Pola. “Hopefully enjoy it together.” He caressed her bare back. “But I understand if you want to…” He frowned. “What is the term they use here? Do this like a band aid? I have been told this is more...difficult for Humans.” He didn’t fully understand Human relations between the sexes. They were definitely supposed to be equal, if there was such a thing. But Tan’s instincts and culture were deeply ingrained, and he would always see Pola as superior, her needs as his own.
“And what if I wanted more? What if I never wanted these few days to end? What if I never wanted to lose you?” Pola’s eyes closed as she said the words, her body tensing slightly, as if predicting that what she wanted wasn’t something that could ever be made reality. He was Orion. He could never be just hers. Lust...love...want...need...they all intermingled for her, but for him they were all so separate. As easily as he fell into bed with Irissa, nothing prevented it happening again with another woman.
Tan’ato looked down at Pola. “Is that what you want?” he asked. “You could brand me.” He hesitated. Is that what he wanted? He was free now. Though he supposed that technically Deneia Tejera could reclaim him if she had the desire or opportunity, as by Orion law he still belonged to her. Without her death or a trade, Pola’s brand could be challenged.
“Brand?” Pola’s body tensed as she twisted around, looking at Tan dead in the eye as she tried to fathom why he would suggest such a thing. “We don’t brand...well, some would argue the exchange of a ring is a brand of sorts, as it marks a person as taken, but still...” The young woman reached out as she allowed her fingertips to trace each mark etched into her lover’s skin, tenderly touching and tracing. “I don’t want to brand you. I just want you.”
“And you have me,” Tan’ato said, taking Pola’s hand and kissing each fingertip before returning it to its exploration of the scarification on his chest. “But...it is inevitable that we will be apart. I am still in Starfleet, and an Executive Officer now.” He paused. “What if you joined the crew again?” he asked Pola. “As a civilian. Or perhaps with a Doctors without Borders team?”
Pola moved her fingers beyond the scars, coming to rest above Tan’s heart as she pressed her fingertips in harder, feeling the steady beat of his heart. “And then what? The odd rumble in the sack between duties?”
Tan’ato sighed. “I do not know,” he admitted. “I do not know relationships like you Humans do. I am sorry. At least there would be no regulations between us.” He pressed his forehead against hers, just caressing her body. “We would not have to hide it anymore.”
Pola’s eye gazed into Tan’s as she saw her vision blur with tears that threatened to fall. It would be so simple to say yes to it all, yes to trying to find a way to stay together, yes to publically showing that what they felt for each other was real, but...she just knew what she wanted, and what Tan wanted still differed, and she wasn’t sure their wants would ever fully meet in the middle.
To try and avoid responding anymore, the woman tilted her head back as she trapped her lover’s lips against her own; kissing him so softly and tenderly that their lips just caressed and explored.
Tan’ato returned her kiss with equal passion. He felt something had...ended, but they still had each other, here and now. He rolled her beneath his large frame again, his hands roaming her naked body.
Was this what she wanted? To wake up every morning to Tan? Would that be enough? Pola arched her body up against him as her hands moved to cup his face, her fingertips crossing his cheek in the lightest of caresses. Would it be so selfish to just take what he offered and deal with the repercussions another time? Nobody knew what the future would hold. Would this be any different?
Pola Ni Dhuinn
Lt. Tan'ato Tejera