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Not Afraid of Freefall

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Stamford warned Jane before she even took her to meet Sherlock, "If he had any friends, he's the sort of cold blooded Omega who'd give that friend a pinch of the latest biological, not out of malevolence, but simply to have an accurate idea of the effects. Course, he would take it himself with the same readiness. He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge." So, Jane walked in fairly prepared to lay down the law. Because no one was messing with her suppressants. Oh, not that she had a problem with going into heat. If Nature wanted her to enjoy the limitless bounty that was heat, then thank you Nature, but still there were limits between roommates.

She'd moved her pile o' shite into her room. Taken a gander at the view out the space port window of the asteroid field and clomped back into the main room ready to lay down the law. She said in her very best, do not mess with me voice, "Sherlock!" Course, he was fussing around with an electron microscope and ignored her. But she figured this was important enough to get a little personal. She grabbed him by the chin and turned that bony face of his forward. "Sherlock," he blinked those had to be a bio upgrade green eyes of his at her. "I'm only going to say this once. If I find that you have ever… Ever dosed me with a biological, whether it messes with my suppressants or not, I will exact justice, understood." She squeezed that little bit.

He breathed in a sharp breathe and just stared at her, his pupils getting a little larger than she liked, which made the whole speech a little less forceful when she had to ask, "Sherlock, are you on something right now?"

He jerked away from her. "Yes, and I understand. However," he pushed the teapot sitting next to him slightly away from her direction, "you might wish to avoid the tea in the house. I'm experimenting with a vegetable based alkaloid reagent to shift between Omega and Beta and back again. That, hmmm…" he then sank into a sort of funk, which gave her time to make some tea that she'd brought with her and putter around the tip that was the kitchen. Not that she was cleaning it. Two Omegas in one house meant there would be a rotation schedule.

Sometimes, she smiled at the innocent she'd been in those days.

Not five hours later, he disappeared because he actually had messed with his suppressants and was going into heat. As he whirled out the door, she'd yelled, "There's no need, we're both Omegas," but off he'd gone. Sherlock was beyond private about that sort of thing.

Even after they went from roommates to Besties in pursuit of mysteries technological, he'd still scarper off when he'd gotten the doses wrong.

What she hadn't realized then was that it was going to be much more frequent to get a call in the groggy night, "Come, Jane, the game is afoot. Not a word! Where's you're skim suit? Into your clothes and get up." When they were rooming together, if she didn't leap out of bed, he'd tug at her feet and drag her out feet first. Or he'd try to and they'd both end up on the floor.

He was ticklish, though he wouldn't admit it. No sooner would she sit on top of him and deploy her hands of Omega fury on his ticklish belly, then he would curl up and ask her very quietly to stop.

It never failed.

After she moved out, because, hey the call of Alphas was strong with her, it was frantic texting. Course, Jane's romantic ventures generally ended up with her moving right back in with Sherlock.

This time, they just had to investigate a very suspicious energy spike over the Landon Station's oxygen dome, which is how they found themselves mucking around in oxygen producing algae slime, which was how they ended up examining water levels that were displaced by a foot, which was where they found the dead body in the slime. Only slightly nibbled on by the fish whose diet was generally restricted to the algae.

District Head Lestrade pinched his eyes when they dripped into his office. In all fairness, they should have showered first, but Sherlock couldn't wait. He never could wait. Jane watched with interest the vaguely greenish pool form under Sherlock's feet. Hers wasn't as big. She'd been smart enough to strip down to her skivvies, but Sherlock was always shy about that sort of thing. She kept telling him they were both Omegas.

Lestrade said in a tone that indicated that they were standing on his very last nerve fibre. "Mr. Evans hit his head, fell into the algea and drowned. It's clear enough what happened."

Sherlock looked like Lestrade had waved a red flag in front of him and said moo, or something like that. Jane hadn't actually ever seen a cow. "That is the most idiotic, asinine…"

She stepped on his foot. There were quotas on Omegas in the Science Core, but as it was they were lucky to be on a station and not doing desk work on Earth. "Would it be possible to look over the footage for those tanks? To bring closure to his family." She smiled helpfully. She always had to be the helpful one. It certainly wasn't going to be Sherlock.

The footage had been erased.

Sherlock made a triumphal, "Ha! The absence of the footage tells us there was something to be seen." As if he were a detective of some sort, and not a Science Tech there on the station to do a series of experiments in crystaline mechanics. That was what they were both there to do. A bold opportunity in new mechanisms in data storage, energy transmission, and so on. Or least that's what he'd convinced her after the whole thing with Mary went sideways and Jane needed not only a place to stay, but a new project to work on.

Somehow, she ended up sweet talking an Alpha in IT into some data recovery. "Jane, Alphas are your area," which Jane supposed was true. They saw a ghostly shape and not much else.

They volunteered to box up the belongings of their good friend Mr. Evans to send home. Evan Evans – and those were a cruel set of parents - had the largest collection of stims on the Ancients that she'd ever seen. Now, Jane enjoyed a good stim on the Ancients like anybody. Mysterious planet building aliens seeding those worlds with life forms. Leaving behind monoliths and strange squiggly statues – Jane's favourite was the flying IUD. What wasn't to love about that? Sure people talked about some missing database that would explain everything, that was just a little too neat.

Which was to say that Sherlock ate that sort of thing up. There was never a bizarre and grotesque thing that Sherlock didn't want to roll around in. It was what she loved about him, in a platonic best Omega friend sort of way.

She insisted they spend at least a day doing very scientific things to crystals, but her heart wasn't in it. Sherlock was slumped on the far side of the room dully waving his pipette and muttering, "Bored."

"Fine, we can look for a mythic database." Sherlock grinned at her and gave her one of those odd whirling hugs, where he swept her up and then let go as if she was radioactive.

Evans had had a theory that the Ancient database was on the planet beneath them. There were potential spots on maps. There were dozens of emails begging Proconsul Moriarty to let him visit the planet that Landon Station orbited. The class three interdicted world that Landon Station orbited.

Not that it was all that horrible, but the natives were in a particularly fragile state of development, or so the Anthropologists liked to go on about.

They had a chat with Cohort Commander Moriarty, who was very busy and very shady and Jane did not like him. He'd spent the entire time staring at Sherlock's admittedly tight pants as if Sherlock was a piece of meat. This was the twenty-fourth century, not the medieval dark ages something.

Sherlock noticed. He just didn’t care. "Irrelevant. He's irrelevant. His assistant answers all of his correspondence."

They questioned the assistant on the down low. Over a pint of real moonshine in the speakeasy cobbled together in the massive turbine room. There was always one on every station.

She'd only had one drink that she could have sworn she hadn't let anyone so much as touch past the engineer behind the makeshift bar. So she wasn't entirely sure how she ended up in an escape pod. Sherlock was slumped next to her, so that was alright. Except for the escape pod part. Sherlock did something to the computer and made it spit out the authorization swipe on their entry into the escape pod. "Moriarty…" was as far as he got before the pod detached and this was a bit not good.

They were going too fast and too everything. The re-entry panels weren't deploying.

Jane looked at Sherlock, who was going to have a brilliant idea any minute. She could see that brain of his going click, click, click, and his fingers were doing the sweet seduction of innocent computers thing. Something hummed. There was a hiss. The pod jolted. Jolted again, and Jane felt as light as a feather. Possibly because he'd done something very wrong to the anti-gravs. A few more adjustments and they sort of floated their way down.

She couldn't help it. "That was brilliant."

"You don't even know what I did," Sherlock pretended to sneer at her, but he was ready to start preening in a minute.

"Oh, I'm sure you'll tell me," grinned Jane, she danced a brief tickle on her brilliant friend's belly.

He flushed and talked in double time. Sometimes he was adorable.

The coms were busted, but they could get around that. This was not their first adventure by a long shot. The Anthropologist's monitoring station had a beacon and the pod had basic sensors, which they could use to triangulate the monitoring station.

It was all fine. She rigged a laser sword out of three power packs and a crystal from their project. Sherlock had his skills, but she had hers. She resigned herself to doing most of the hacking on the trail.

They tromped along through massive trees. Looked a bit like the pictures her sister, Harry, drew of ancient Britain before the Romans chopped down all the trees.

There had been some supplies in the pod. They ate something guaranteed to keep them alive while tasting disgusting. Jane made sure that Sherlock ate his. By morning, she knew something was off. Sherlock's scent had a sort of sweet tinge to it. "Oh, for… are you still meddling with your suppressants?"

Sherlock lifted his chin and said, "What if I am. My body is transport. It is there to be experimented on. What is it like in that tiny brain of yours?"

"Um… not going into heat while stranded on a class three interdicted world," Jane said, she felt fairly logically. "We'll need to find someplace to settle in until it's done."

"No," Sherlock's eyes were wide and a little scared, which given he'd appeared delighted to be in freefall was worrying. "You should go on ahead and call for help."

"I am not leaving you while you're in heat." Jane gestured with the laser sword. "Which you're not yet. Let's keep walking."

He kept trying to convince her. Her, "Stop trying, Sherlock. I'd be a terrible friend if I left you alone like this," finally got him to stop.

They went through a series of meadows culminating in a high ridge. They walked along it, a gorgeous vista spreading out in all directions. Sherlock was walking slower. His scent was stronger. Sweeter and somehow musky at the same time. Jane found herself breathing in and holding the breath.

In all that beauty, something was following them through the brush. A black and furry shape jumped and she slashed down with the laser sword. She hoped it wasn't a native. No way to ask after. There was more than one, yelping from the brush. "We need to settle in somewhere a little more defensible."

Sherlock pulled out the pad and tapped in Evan's maps and the sensor. They were only a few kilometres away from one of Evan's candidate sites. "There might be some shelter there."

It was one of those small smooth black structures with a crawl space into a larger chamber inside. Nothing database like inside but with an opening for the smoke from the fire to escape, it was perfect. Sherlock groaned stumbling against a black slab. It did that colour shift thing they sometimes did when touched. Not that anyone could ever figure out what that meant other than, "Yay, colours."

"Come on, let's get you settled." She spread out the reflective blanket. Sherlock was going to feel hot, but there was a real risk of hypothermia with the temperature dropping as the sun set. She decontaminated some water from the stream and gathered firewood.

He'd already removed one layer of clothes by the time she got back. He examined the smooth walls, but they didn't give anything away. She did slightly more domestic things. Sherlock bent over from one of the pre-heat cramps.

He tugged at his shirt. She said, "It's okay. I keep telling you, we're both Omegas."

His laugh was not happy, but he pulled off his clothes. In firelight, he was beautiful. She supposed he always was. He sat on the blanket by the fire. She sat next to him, rubbing her hand on his shoulders. He listed towards her. The scent of wood smoke and heat filled the room. A tiny trail of smoke making its way out the opening in the domed ceiling. Lights flickered in random patterns across the ceiling and walls. Only some of it reflected lights from the fire.

"I don't feel well," whispered Sherlock into her hair.

"I know," she kissed his forehead. His skin was dry and hot to the touch. Because it felt right, she kissed his cheek. He shuddered and she squeezed his shoulder. Unfortunately the escape pod hadn't come with sex toys. She'd have to suggest it in the future.

They lay down together on the blanket. It crinkled beneath them. She rubbed his chest and arms. She whispered meaningless things so he could complain about them. She watched the door. Shapes might have shifted in the dark outside, but anything looking in would only see the fire. She figured that would give her a second at least. Hopefully. Given a complete lack of knowledge of local biology.

Sherlock knew. He slurred facts in between curling into himself. Between begging for something she couldn't give him. She curled around him. Somewhere on the second day with no more than a few hours of sleep between them, he whispered, "I love you."

She kissed the back of his neck, where the pheromone glands were currently calling some Alpha for a rut. Triggering nothing in Jane. This was about a different set of chemicals. "I love you too." Not a revelation. In that dreamless state, surrounded by swirling red and yellow lights on an ancient black surface, it was something she'd always known, but hadn't known she knew it. It made sense somehow.

She held him. Went to get more water and firewood when it was needed. Fell asleep on the third day, and woke to find Sherlock dressed and quickly taking notes of the light patterns. She propped herself and watched him. This was her Sherlock. Wild eyed, his hair already put to order, and making connections. He pointed to a concentration of yellows shifting into blues. "The Ancient's started us on our evolutionary path. The one that branched us into our various genders." He kissed her, a quick buss of the lips, then pulled away startled at his own action.

She pulled him to her for a longer kiss. A promise of something more later. "So, genius, what have you discovered?" He'd discovered that the reason the patterns shifted was in response to the pheromones in close proximity. The current patterns were in direct response to his fading heat. He tapped his fingers across a low portion of the wall and a coloured pattern flashed across the wall.

She laughed, "Send us your Omega scientists."

Sherlock looked as peeved as someone well kissed could be. "As always Jane, you grossly oversimplify…"

She silenced him with another kiss.

It wasn't far to the Anthropologist's monitoring station. There was some dispute from Anderson that it was actually them.

Now as it happened, Cohort Commander Moriarty had thought that the database had contained some recipe for creating planets and controlling life itself. Galaxy controlling sort of stuff.

As if a Rosetta stone wasn't enough. Jane watched Sherlock rant over that and smiled. She whispered into his ear, "Let's pretend I've been drinking some of your tea," and completely derailed his monorail of thought. Especially when Jane showed him the strap on complete with knot that she'd just purchased. Good times. Good times. With her best friend and love of her life.