Born in the Tundra of Minnesota, I have since become a bit of a Gypsy. Currently calling home base the hot sands of Arizona, I do still travel often. Whether the journey is a physical one, or one taken by reading a fantastic book it doesn't matter, the fun is always in the adventure. As always I am an eclectic person that likes a wide array of things and has many passions. Creating, advocating for animals and Mothering just to name a few.


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The Purple Booker







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Aug
08
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star-trek-into-darkness-chris-pine-benedict-cumberbatch

‘Your crew is alive’…

Four words – and the world seemed to come to a halt.

For a long moment Khan could do nothing else than to stare at Kirk; shocked. “What?” was all that came over his lips; not trusting his own ears or the captain’s statement.

Jim nodded slowly; realizing that indeed no-one had told the Augment that his crew – his family! – didn’t die in the inferno the exploding torpedoes had caused. Sweet Lord, whether this man was a criminal or not, but he had a right to learn of the fate of his dear ones! Why had had no-one the decency to inform him? To let him think his family was dead while he had been forced back into cryosleep was as cruel as his seek for revenge as he started his attack against Starfleet Command. Had it been a kind of primitive pay-back for his deeds, or had simply nobody been mindful – sensible – enough to tell him the truth?

It didn’t matter which one of the two possibilities was accurate; all Jim knew was that he had to set things right. No-one deserved to grief in vain!

“Your people have never been harmed. They are safe somewhere in their cyrotubes and…” Jim broke off, as the nostrils of the Augment began to flare.

“You. Are. Lying!” his captor growled with new pain in his eyes, and Jim shook his head as far as it was possible with the strong grip around his neck.

“No, it’s true. Your crew…”

“THEY WERE IN THE TORPEDEOES YOUR VULCAN LET DETONATE!” Khan roared. “I SCANNED THEM AFTER THEY WERE TRANSPORTET TO MY SHIP! MY FAMILY WAS…”

“…safe and soundly asleep in the cyrotubes Bones removed from the torpedoes before Spock lowered our shields and you beamed them aboard the Vengeance,” Kirk interrupted him as calm as possible. He noticed that Khan was breathing heavily, while an almost pleading shimmer laid in his look; mingled with hope a fright. Jesus Christ, Jim couldn’t help himself, but just right now he felt compassion for his enemy.

“Listen,” he said calmly. “Bones and his staff removed the tubes and set up a special bio-medical program in the torpedoes, using the recorded bio-signals of your crew to make you to think, you would scan your people. In truth your people were in the Enterprise’s sickbay.” He felt that the long fingers, which still clamped down on his neck, started to tremble. “Your family is not dead, Khan,” he repeated almost gently, as he saw dampness dwelling up in the Augment’s eyes. “They are alive!”

“Your Vulcan…,” the former dictator whispered hoarsely; his usual so quick-working brain processed only slowly the given information; his subconscious too afraid to get a blink of hope only to have it destroyed again.

“I admit, Spock can be a pain in the ass sometimes,” Jim retorted, “but he would never kill 72 innocent people in cold blood. He is a Vulcan after all, raised by the Suran’s doctrines – Vulcan’s reformer several thousand years ago, who taught them…” Kirk became silent as Khan’s hands fell to his side as if all of his strengths suddenly had been drained off him.

“Is… Are you speaking the truth?” The super-human’s voice was not more than a tight croak, while he fought the growing hope in a twisted way of denial to protect himself.

Jim nodded sincerely. “Yes, I swear! I would not lie to you or anybody else about something like this!”

For a further moment the Augment only looked at him, saw the seriousness on the face of the young captain and knew that it was true.

His family…

Alive!

They were not dead! They were not horrible killed in the merciless detonation of the weapons which should have served them as protection.

The realization hit him with the force of a spaceship thrown in warp and for a moment he began to sway. He tried to regain some control over his raising emotions, but failed miserably, as the first tear rolled down his cheek. He sucked in several needed deep breaths and turned away; seeking a moment of solitude to get a grip on himself.

Jim swept back his short hair, feeling an immense amount of relief – damn, there would be fingerprints on his neck for the next few days – then he watched his nemesis.

Khan had stepped to one of the large windows which reach from the top almost to the bottom, balled his fists and lowered his head; his chest heaved.

They lived…

His family was safe!

Joaquin, Chang, Ann, Paolo, Janine, all the others… They weren’t taken from him! They were still somewhere in their cryotubes; obvious of what had almost happened to them and they had – maybe – a future after all.

He was relieved beyond belief, dizzy with redemption – and with that his emotions got the better of him. The suddenly cut-off tension tore at his inner walls he built up to protect himself; bombarded his schooled mind, shattered his self-control…

Despite the gratefulness towards fate that his family hadn’t perished, another dagger was stabbed into his heart and soul:

The grief, the sorrow, the anguish – all had been for naught!

The agony as the torpedoes exploded and he thought he had lost anyone, who held his heart, had cost him his sanity – if only for several minutes. The blinding pain in his whole being as he ran through the streets of San Francisco, trying to escape the furious Vulcan, and the cold emptiness after he awakened in the prison of Starfleet Command days later had been for nothing. He had been trapped in this swirl of utterly hurt, despair and loss only to learn now that his sorrow was nothing more than a cruel joke.

The feelings were too much to handle them. Even he had his limits.

Jim eyed his adversary carefully; looked for any signal if the Augment would throw another fit, but Khan’s reaction was quite the opposite. He simply stood there – and then a single throaty heart-wrenching wail echoed through the apartment, followed by a suppressed sob.

Kirk swallowed. He had expected many responses from his opponent but nothing like that. And, as he realized, he really didn’t know what to do. Yes, he had no trouble to sooth a damsel in distress, but you certainly couldn’t call that a genetically engineered man who was more dangerous than a collapsing warp core, and therefore Kirk had a really big problem at hand how to go on from here.

His first simply human impulse was to comfort the other one; his rebellious but nevertheless good heart went out to the soul that wailed in long-time hurt. If it would have been Bones, Spock, Scotty or any other one who was close to him, he would had wrapped his arms around him and had held him until the pain went away. But in this case something like this was out of question. As far as Jim was able to analyze the Augment, Khan wouldn’t accept any consoling touches. He was far too proud and too distrusting for something like this.

Still Jim wanted to offer some consolation. No human heart could watch and hear such a display of utter distress and didn’t get moved by it.

And as the super-human pressed a hand over his mouth while his shoulders began to shake, Jim couldn’t take in anymore. Whether a criminal or not, but it was impossible for the young man to witness such misery without doing something.

Walking on quiet bare feet he went to the kitchenette, fetched two glasses out of the cupboard and poured some Scotch in. He didn’t care if his rather unwelcome ‘guest’ liked his whisky ‘on the rocks’ or not; in this case the gold-brown spirit was more medicine than anything else. Jim turned around and in the light of the next flash his eyes were caught by something: His phaser.

There it lay – besides Khan’s heap of clothes. The Augment must had picked it up when Kirk was still trying to recover from his aftermath, and had put it to his own belongings – if these garments really were his’ in the common sense.

Jim glanced back at his enemy. It would be so easy to tiptoe to the weapon, to take it and…

Well, what then? Khan couldn’t be stunned – or, as Uhura once told him – only after being hit over and over again, and regarding the close distance between himself and the Augment he never would be able to render him unconscious before the super-human would reach him. And then Khan would snap his neck. He had no doubt about it.

That only left two possibilities: To set the phaser to ‘kill’ or to do nothing!

Once again Jim looked over to his nemesis and saw that Khan’s legs had given out. He kneeled by the windows, hands on his thighs, head lowered, back rigid – and the shaking intakes of breath was enough to show that the enhanced man was struggling for control.

Kirk swallowed again. If he would have been an usual Starfleet-officer, to whom duty and regulation was something close to religion, he wouldn’t even have second thoughts to do what was necessary. Khan was a sentenced criminal – a murderer – and furthermore he had only come to kill him. Jim had all rights of the world to shoot the man; hell, he certainly would do the universe a favor by doing so – still he didn’t move.

He was no-one who took another one’s life easily or – what was worse – shot an unarmed opponent, even if Khan himself was a weapon. Moreover he knew that the Augment had been wronged several times; that the whole mess last year wasn’t his entire fault. Khan had been driven to the breaking-point that set free his increased fighting-spirit, mixed with the fury of utterly pain.

No, it was impossible for Jim to backstab the Augment like this. His humanity and strong sense of justice didn’t allow it. Even after he lost his mentor because of Khan, Kirk couldn’t bring himself to end the man’s life, who was indeed a criminal in every sense, but not evil. Jim was familiar with the old saying that only the devil doesn’t know love, and if there was one thing you could say about Khan then that he loved his family with an intensity that had no equal.

‘Driven to misdeeds by love – it’s old like time!’ Jim thought and watched his nemesis.

His nemesis who had given him – by the way – the most intense ecstasy only half an hour ago. Well, that shouldn’t affect the captain’s decisions, but still it had a part in it. He was only human after all!

Sighing and hoping that he wouldn’t regret this completely insane and irresponsible choice of action, Jim returned to the shaken Augment and crouched down beside him. One look on the tear-stricken face and he knew that he had made the right move. He never would have been able to live with himself, if he had killed this bundle of wretched emotions. Tensed he watched his adversary, who seemed to don’t know if he should laugh or cry. Jim anticipated what went through the super-human’s head and heart: Immense relief, mingled with an intense release of all the grief he had been through.

The next thunders rolled through the skies; the wind howled between the skyscrapers and rain pelted against the windows, but the raging nature was ignored by the two men, who fought their own storm.

Khan had his eyes firmly closed, while he tried desperately to get his feelings back under control. They were safe! His crew was alive! That was all that mattered now. His own anguish didn’t count – not, when the outcome was something so good like this. He was hilarious with glee, contemporary his soul was bleeding.

Suddenly a stinging, heavy, slightly familiar scent reached his nose and as he opened his eyes he caught the blurry sight of a glass with honey-brown fluid that was offered to him. Rising his head he looked straight at James Kirk, who was beside him. The younger man’s gaze was warily but also sympathetically, and for several seconds both opponents didn’t move, then Khan took a deep, shaky breath, wiped with both hands his face – by all higher beings, that was humiliating! – and found himself accepting the glass.

“Bourbon?” he rasped; already identifying the drink as whisky.

“No, Scotch. A twenty-five-year’s old – a gift from Scotty.”

“Fits,” Khan murmured and nipped at the strong liquor. “An expensive drink for an occasion more precious to me than anything else in this whole, damn universe!” He took another sip; relishing in the spicy, warm taste that enmeshed his senses but had no influences on them.

Perceiving that the Augment indeed was calming down, Jim shifted himself in a more comfortable position, grimaced, as certain sore parts of his body came in contact with the floor, and took another sip of his own whisky. “So… no-one told you?” he asked after a minute and the Augment shook silently his head. “Bloody idiots!” Kirk grumbled, then he stopped short. “Haven’t you seen them when you were put into your cryotube or when you woke up and escaped?”

The blunt question took Khan for surprise. “I’ve been sedated before they sent me back to cryosleep,” he growled. “And as I woke up again there were four close walls and several scientists around me, nothing else!”

Jim stared thunderstruck at him. “Scientists? Which scientists? And why did they wake you up?”

The Augment rolled his reddened eyes. “Come on, think, Kirk! You do have brains, as I have to admit. Why should someone takes me to a high-security underground lab and holds me in semi-coma for months?”

It really took several seconds for the captain, before his mind was ready to accept the obvious answer. “They… they ran tests on you? For months?” He made an agitated wave with his free hand, and the enhanced man’s expression darkened.

“Yes, they took my blood and sometimes skin-examples to extract blood plasma and native cells to test some serums. They also injected me with different pathogens to get antibodies my blood produced or they tested new serums.” His voice was flat and emotionless. To think closer of the last months – of the helplessness, the fear, the pain – would have destroyed his self-control once again.

Jim stared at him; speechlessly. “They used you as a lab-rat?” he finally burst out. “But… But the trial sentenced you to cryosleep! Tests on humans are…”

“Trial?” the super-human scoffed. “What trial?” Before Kirk could reply he sneered: “This trial was nothing but a farce!”

“But…”

“If you would have bothered to show up during my so-called ‘answering’ you were so eager to put me through,” Khan hissed, “you maybe had realized that your precious Starfleet wasn’t interested in the truth, but to adjudge me as quickly as possible and be done with me!”

“Sorry, but I was a little bit indisposed at the time,” Kirk replied almost sarcastically; still shell-shocked by what he had learned of the Augment’s fate.

“‘Indisposed’ – after everything you went through to give me a ‘fair trial’?” Anger crept back in the deep baritone, while the pale blue-green eyes pierced the captain’s blue ones.

“Does ‘radioactive contamination’ count for being ‘indisposed’ in your opinion?” Jim snapped; irritated by his foe’s ignorance.

This time it was up to Khan to be staggered. “‘Radioactive contamination?'” he repeated astonished. “However did you end up with that?” Mockery began to creep in his gaze. “Have you danced around the Enterprise’s warp core?”

“No, I kicked it,” Kirk responded dryly; making a face.

“You kicked it?” It was clear that the super-human finally doubted Jim’s mind. “Why would you do such insanity?”

“Think!” The younger man hurled Khan’s former words back at him – again, as Khan realized. “The Enterprise took some several serious hits and the warp core had been sabotaged by Section 31. What had to be a consequence of this chain of circumstances?”

The former dictator didn’t even need to think about it: “The warp core was out of control and could only be fixed… manually,” he guessed and Jim nodded.

“Yeah, even worse. It was misaligned and the ships internal power was switched off. The auxiliary power failed, too. The Enterprises was completely without any possibility to navigate. The gravitationally force caught us and the ship and all on board were going to burn in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Comprehending Khan nodded slowly. “And so you had no other choice than to straighten the warp core device by hand – or feet, like it is.” His gaze roamed intensely over the manly-boyish face of his nemesis; knowing exactly what Kirk had been through being in a room full of radioactive radiations. He had read too many reports about nuclear contaminations and its outcome back in his time, and certainly even in the 23rd century nothing had changed about this kind of deadly forces. “How did you make it out alive?” he asked curiously.

“I didn’t!” Jim said quietly, locking eyes with the Augment.

Khan pursed his lips. “You died – and my blood brought you back!” he stated and watched as the young officer placed his glass beside him on the floor, pulled his knees towards his chest and wrapped his arms around them. “Yeah,” was the only soft reply.

Everything made sense now: Kirk not showing up at the trial, the dark-skinned woman’s yelling that he – Khan – was needed to save the captain, the flaring rage of the half-Vulcan… “Commander Spock,” he began slowly. “He didn’t hunt me down to bring me to justice, but to avenge you.”

“He… What?” Jim blinked bewildered, and the super-human made an affirming gesture.

“He chased me through San Francisco and… showed a very violent tendency after he caught up with me. Only the appearance of your female crew-member who speaks Klingon…”

“Uhura!?” Kirk threw in and Khan shrugged – he didn’t know the name of the officer – and continued:

“… She was the one who stopped him – what didn’t hinder him to knock me out.” He frowned, clearly offended. “He was the first who was ever able to do such a thing.”

Jim had to grin for a moment. “Yes, Spock’s strengths really are something to remember.”

“Oh, I do remember, Kirk!” the Augment exclaimed flatly. “I remember very well what he did to me – not only during our combat but also that he killed my family; or rather that he tricked me into believing it!” Coldness mirrored in his voice and Kirk took a deep breath.

“Look, they are alive. That’s all that mattered, right?” He saw Khan narrowing his eyes and added softly: “I know that this put you through a lot of grief, and I really do not understand why no-one told you that your people weren’t killed. There must have been plenty occasions to inform you, but…”

“But the guards took their own little revenge by keeping it a secret, as they executed the sentence. They didn’t speak to me anyway.” Bitterness lay in the deep voice and Jim frowned.

“They didn’t speak to you? Not once?”

Khan shook his head. “Every question passed unheeded, only requirements for food were answered by giving me something to eat and to drink.” He lowered his gaze. “I wasn’t even granted a last wish – so much for your so-called advanced civility.”

“Last wish?” The younger man pursed his lips. “You weren’t sentenced to death, but back to cryosl…”

“It is like dying, Kirk, believe me!” the super-human interrupted. “Yes, they sedated me, but sedatives don’t have the expected influence on me. I still could feel my body-function being lowered, while coldness crept through every fiber of my being.” The bad memories of the last minutes he was awake returned and made him speak without realizing that he shared a personal experience with the man, he had wanted to take revenge on. “The life sips out of you, everything becomes a blur and darkness enfolds you, while you think you’re turning into ice, but you can’t even shiver. Your mind struggles against it, tries to stay awake, clings to every thought until your instincts are too tired to fight anymore. And then there is nothing – absolutely nothing.” He shook his head. “It is like dying! As we started from Earth three centuries ago I knew that I would wake up again. This time I was certain that I would remain in this state for all eternity – dead but not dead, alive but not alive.” His far away glance focused once more and returned to Jim’s face; taking in the uncomfortable expression on the soft features. “I think you know this feeling by now.”

Kirk let the words sink in and nodded slowly. “Yeah, you are right. I do know exactly of what you’re speaking.” He moistened his lips, as his own memories went back in time. “To get contaminated with radioactivity feels the same – only that you don’t freeze but seem to burn.” He took a deep breath. “I somehow managed to crawl back to the emergency barrier, before I collapsed. That’s how Spock found me, unable to get me.” He sighed. “I admit: I was scared – more scared than I’ve ever been. There was so much I wanted to say, but…” He fell silent.

“There wasn’t any time left for you.” Khan’s voice sounded almost sympathetically. “Tell me, Kirk, if I would grant you a last wish, what would it be?”

“Is this an offer?” the Starfleet-officer asked bluntly; realizing that his nemesis hadn’t let him off the hook. Dammit, maybe he was a little bit to rash with the whole ‘I-cannot-shoot-you’-decision.

“Yes,” was the Augment’s only answer.

Jim hadn’t to think twice. “Spare my friends!” He looked straight into the sea-green-blue pools in the small attractive face of his enemy. “This is all I am wishing for: That my friends – my crew! – will be save.”

The enhanced man nodded. “I knew that you would ask for this.” He pulled one long leg closer to his chest and laid casually one forearm on his knee; the glass dangled between his elegant fingers. “As it seems, we do share several similarities.”

“You asked me once, if there would be anything I wouldn’t do for my family.” Kirk rubbed his neck; wincing as he touched the bruised skin there. “Well, I think I answered your question.”

Khan’s left edge of the mouth curled up in the slightest way possible. “So you do understand me.” He took a deep breath. “Where are my people?” He changed the topic, while his piercing gaze fixed back at the captain.

Well, that question was expected. And Jim had absolutely no answer for it. “I don’t know,” he sighed, returning the sharp glare of his foe with all the calmness he could muster. If Khan wouldn’t believe him, he would try to get the information by using violence and Kirk so didn’t look forward to another round of beating. So he decided to tell the plain truth. “I woke up more than two weeks after the whole incident and needed several days before the dizziness went away. Only then I heard about your trial, your sentence and that you were already put back to cryosleep – together with your crew. I asked Admiral Allistor, who was the temporary head of Starfleet Command at this time, for more details but all I learned was that you and your people were locked away in a high security facility no-one could enter without permission or direct order of the admiralty.” He leaned his chin on his knee; never leaving the super-human out of his eyes.

Khan stared intensely at him, pondering the younger man’s words carefully. Of course James Kirk wouldn’t give away the location of the Augments. He would be a fool if he did something like this and the captain may be reckless at some times, yet he was all but a fool. So the chance that his adversary simply lied was high, on the other hand Khan knew when people didn’t tell the truth, and he couldn’t find any hint that Kirk was doing this just right now. All he saw was plain sincerity.

“You and your Vulcan-puppy were the ones who were, in the end, responsible for my turn-in, yet they don’t trust you enough to inform you, where they put your enemy?”

Jim shrugged. “This whole thing is top-secret. I think, not even the President of the Federation knows the location of said facility.”

The Augment cocked his head. “But you have an idea,” he took a shot in the dark and Kirk snorted quietly.

“Not regarding the location, but I have every reason to believe that they are no longer on Earth.”

“Why?”

“Well…” Kirk scratched his head, before he wrapped the arm back around his knees. “… it would be logically to choose a place out of reach – not that it helped. After all some blokes took you and abused you as… Well…” He grimaced and fell silent, while he waited for the super-human’s reaction; hoping that Khan believed his statement. If not the next minutes could be very unpleasant.

For a long time his foe man didn’t say anything and just eyed him thoughtfully, then – finally – he nodded. “You’re telling the truth,” he simply said and emptied his glass, before he placed it beside him; starting to begin lost in thoughts.

His crew was safe but somewhere out there; out of his reach. They could be everywhere. It was like looking for the famous needle in a haystack – and the galaxy was a big haystack! Still he would try. He had no other choice. They were his family, his responsibility! He had to find and protect them, had to bring them to real safety – whatever the cost!

“What are you going to do now?” Kirk’s words pulled him back to reality and determination set in his whole being. “I will search for them – and even if it lasts a life-time.”

Jim swallowed. “I knew you would say that.”

Both men fell silent, then the captain cleared his throat. “Those scientists, who took you… Do you know who they are?”

Khan made a negative gesture. “No, but I know the name of the facility I was imprisoned: ‘Starfleet-Laboratory for Science and Healing’. The head of them goes by the name Matthew Dashwood – at least that’s what I heard whenever I was pulled out of the semi-coma.”

This time Kirk frowned. “The LSH had you? Here, in San Francisco?”

“No, in an underground building near Las Vegas,” the Augment answered cold and Jim stared bewildered at him.

“In Nevada? I didn’t even know that we have a lab there.” He shook his head. “And there I thought Section 31 has been liquidated! But, as it seems, a few bastards are still active. Only high-security-officers could smuggle you away.”

“You know my opinion about your beloved Starfleet,” Khan stated dryly.

Jim bit his lips. “Nobody is perfect – that applies even for you.”

“Barely,” the Augment replied arrogantly and Kirk shook his head.

“Blowhard!” he whispered under his breath, but it still was caught by the super-human’s enhanced hearing.

“For someone, who stays with one foot already in the own grave you’re surprisingly careless,” the former dictator commented nonchalant. “But then, ‘recklessness’ should be one of your given names, shouldn’t it?”

“You got it,” Jim grinned, before he turned sober again; remembering the whole situation he was in. Did he really sat here on the floor, with only a towel wrapped around his hips and was chit-chatting with Khan? Yes, he was! Someone should slap him on the back of his head, please. Supposedly it should help to increase the ability to think.

He drowned his own glass and raised with anything but elegant movements – his back and butt were still hurting. “Care to have another one?” he asked, lifting the empty glass. He was a little bit surprised, as Khan simply handed him his own cup.

“Go ahead, Kirk. I can afford several drinks. On the contrary to you alcohol does not affect me.”

“You can’t get drunk?” Kirk asked baffled and as the Augment nodded, he snorted: “Where is there the fun?”

“If you call suffering of immense headache and sickness ‘fun’, then I am glad that this ‘fun’ isn’t meant for me.”

Promptly Jim rolled his eyes. “I don’t speak of the hangover, you know.” He headed towards the kitchenette.

Khan’s gaze followed him. The Augment was slightly amused by the causality Kirk displayed to cover his unease. The younger man knew that he was still in danger and that for a good reason. Khan had had every intention to end the captain’s life as he broke into this flat. Now, after learning that his family was still alive and that Kirk hadn’t let him down at the trial but had been simply too ill to attend the event, his urge to kill the officer had lessened – not least because of the fact that he did have a good time over there on the king-sized bed.

A very good time!

And he wanted more. It had been years since he experienced such an intense carnal satisfaction, if at all, and his hunger wasn’t stilled. Kirk was incredible passionate, so full of life and vitality – it allured the super-human like a moth to the flame; especially now, after the emotional chaos he endured a short time ago. His body and mind yearned for a distraction through what he could find himself again.

As he watched his nemesis and took in the broad shoulders and slim waist, the lust arose in him once more. Kirk had not only high spirits, but was also terrible handsome, and his headstrongness was a challenge that heightened the Augment’s desire. Tomorrow he would have a new purpose – not to seek revenge, but to find and to save his family – and he knew that there laid a very long road ahead of him that maybe would lead to his demise, so why not use the last hours to fulfill his own deep needs? Just right now the night was still young and it was the last chance to find pleasure in another one’s arms, before he would be on the run again.

He knew that his escape must have been discovered by now and that Dashwood would inform Starfleet Command as soon as the security came to the result that ‘the prisoner’ wasn’t any longer in the facility. But Khan had hidden his real tracks very well – out there, in the still crazy-shrill world of Las Vegas – and had laid a false trail that would led his enemies to believe he was on another continent. It would elapse hours until Starfleet Command was going to realize that they followed a canard – hours, Khan planned to spend in the nicest way possible – but soon he would run out of time. So he really wanted to have another round of hot, fierce sex between the already messy sheets, before it would be him against the whole universe again.

Soundlessly he rose; his eyes fixed on the attractive shape of his captive. He assumed that Kirk would protest at the beginning, but he was certain that he soon would have the captain there, where he wanted him. The younger man was quite as lustful as he was.

Jim had reached the kitchen-counter and could almost feeling Khan’s stare on his back. It sent a shiver down his spine and placed a new knot in his belly. Somehow the atmosphere was changing again and Kirk’s sensibility caught it easily. “So, alcohol has no effect on you,” he began to break the silence. “I suppose because of your super-blood. Do you think there is any chance that I will get this by-effect, too?”

“Would this be a good or a bad thing in your opinion?” The rich baritone sounded directly behind him and Kirk almost jumped; letting the bottle, he already took, fall. The Augment’s reactions saved the expensive whisky from being wasted on the floor.

“Easy, Kirk, to brew a good single-malt is an act of art – nothing you want to spill on the carpets,” Khan taunted and placed the bottle back on the kitchen-counter.

“Dear God, man, don’t startle me like this!” Jim gasped; glaring at his foe after he turned around. “You almost gave me a heart-attack here.”

“What would be a shame,” the super-human mocked. “If I make your heart stop beating, then it will be out of another reason.”

The young captain tensed up; misinterpreting the words. “I thought we were out of the whole ‘I-will-kill-you-department’!”

Khan cocked his head and let his gaze roam over the gentle-manly beautiful features in front of him. “Whatever gave you this idea?” As he met the clear blue eyes he added: “After all, you did backstab me.”

Jim stiffened. Of course the Augment would bring this up. Yes, Kirk knew that he made a wrong decision as he ordered Scotty to stun the super-human as soon as they entered the bridge of the Vengeance. His act hadn’t differed from the other deeds which had been hurled at Khan, still Jim was sure that he hadn’t another choice at that time. His nemesis had only agreed to help because he had an own plan to get what he wanted, and therefore the captain’s precaution had been valid!

“Don’t tell me that you didn’t intent to kill Marcus and use Scotty, Carol and me as a pawn as soon as you reached the bridge!” he said calmly, but also challenging. “It was the only reason you joined me on the whole trip!”

Khan surveyed him thoughtfully. “Yes, I admit that I wanted to kill the man, who brought all the anguish upon me – who blackmailed me by threatening me with my family’s life and ordered to run tests on me until I was nothing more than a barely breathing mess. Marcus had to die! And I certainly would have used every chance to get my crew back.” His gaze became piercing. “But I thought you to be someone, who has honor. In a certain way you do have it, yet on the other hand you did the same like Marcus: You used me!” He lifted a hand as Kirk wanted to protest. “I heard every word you said to this bad excuse of an officer. You didn’t trust him, but the same went for me – after I saved your life two times!”

‘And his selfless sacrifice later saved not only his crew, but also your family!’ an inner voice offered ‘helpfully’.

‘He wanted to save his ship and his own crew. He never would have gone through this all, if only the lives of your people would have been on stake!’ the angry part of Khan’s mind replied, but was shut up again by that damn other inner voice: ‘Still they are only alive because of him!’

Jim took a deep breath; feeling a little pang of guilt – not knowing of the inner turmoil his captor was going through. “I haven’t forgotten that you saved me,” he agreed softly. “The Klingon would have shot me if you hadn’t interference – or I would have been lost in space after this chuck of debris hit my helmet and I flew blindly towards the Vengeance. I even don’t care that you didn’t do it out of a kind heart, but for your own advantages. Despite this all I was also aware of your real intentions to ally with me and that nothing was going to stop you.”

“Still I wouldn’t have menaced you,” the Augment growled and Kirk lifted both brows.

“And how did you want to ‘persuade’ Spock to give you your crew, if you wouldn’t have blackmailed him with Scotty’s, Carol’s or my life?” He glanced straight in the pale sea-colored eyes in front of him. “I admit that I made a mistake by ordering Scotty to stun you, but I saw no other way to prevent you from doing what you were so obviously up to.” He moistened his lips. “And by the way: You paid me back by beating me into a bloody pulp.”

“That wasn’t for Qo’noS,” Khan commented dryly.

Jim had the urge to roll his eyes again. “Oh, come on, you are only annoyed because I was a step ahead of you.”

“No, Kirk. I already told you that you’ve brains and when someone tries to outsmart me, I see it for what it is: A challenge. You, on the other hand, backstabbed me.” He lifted one hand cupped Kirk’s neck. “I took lives for less.”

The young officer felt another flash of fear, nevertheless he said outright: “Still you will not kill me now.”

An evil smirk tugged at Khan’s well-shaped lips: “You are right, Kirk. I am far from done with you.” He put his both hands on the counter beside Jim’s hips; trapping him effectively by doing so. Their bare chests almost touched, the warmth that radiated from their skins went straight into their veins, heating up the blood.

Jim’s face flushed as he recognized the desire flashing in the super-human’s eyes. “Don’t tell me you are up to another…” He waved towards the bed and the Augment chuckled.

“Yes, I am!” Khan nodded and pressed himself against the slightly smaller man’s body; eliciting a quiet gasp from him, before Kirk tried to push him away.

“Stop it! This is…”

“… something you want as badly as I,” his adversary cut in, bent forwards and whispered in his ear: “You can’t lie to me, dear captain.” His hot breath washed over the hypersensitive spot on Jim’s neck, where he had marked him properly. “I know you would like to have me taken you again.” He nuzzled the delicate skin behind Jim’s ear; relishing in the scent of shampoo and Kirk himself, while his hands wandered over his captive’s slim back. “You would love to be consumed once more – here, on the counter or over there against the wall. Or back on the bed.” His voice was a deep husky purr and the young officer sensed the all too familiar fire lapping beneath his skin; searching its way through his entire being.

“This… is insane!” he whispered; realizing that he – indeed – didn’t want Khan to stop. He hated his nemesis for making him feel this way, yet he knew that he couldn’t win against his own demands. Nonetheless he did protest as the Augment pulled away their towels, but his curses were swallowed by the soft lips of his foe, as he simply closed his mouth over Jim’s; deepening the kiss instantly.

Only as Khan suddenly lifted him and sat him on the kitchen-counter, a small part of sanity kicked in and Kirk turned his head away. “We can’t… That’s madness!”

“Yes it is,” the enhanced man murmured, while he stepped between Kirk’s legs. “But there is no reason to go not with it. There are only we both and this night – a night we will not waste with false modesty.” He cupped one of Kirk’s cheeks and forced him gently to look at him. “You were born for living out your passion, James Kirk, and I will not allow you to deny us both what we want because of some foolish pretense.” He pulled the younger man in a strong embrace, brought their groins together and began to attack his senses in the most erotically way possible.

And then there was for a long time nothing more than gasps and lustful moans.

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