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"Will you let them go?" Sheppard burst out. In the holding cell, his hivemates shouted their anger. Sheppard repeated himself over their protests. "If I... let you -- will you send them back to our people?"

Todd reached down and traced his fingers along Sheppard's jawline. He felt the prickle of hair and wished that removal of facial hair wasn't so fashionable among the Atlanteans. He liked long whiskers, plaited. He could feel Sheppard's breathing speed up, even though nothing showed on his face. But Sheppard was kneeling at Todd's feet, arms bound, flanked by guards, and unfocussed by the injuries from when his ship had crashed.

"Even better," Todd said, and smiled. He loved the way humans bared their teeth at each other as if it meant friendship. "You will let me show your companions how very brotherly we are, and then I will return all of you. No harm and no foul, I believe you say."

Sheppard was still having trouble controlling his breathing.

"Or I will have them killed one by one in front of you," Todd added. "Except for Dr McKay. He is useful."

Sheppard nodded, slowly. "I won't forget. You can count on that."

"Indeed, I rely on it," Todd said, and ordered the drones guarding Sheppard to cut off his clothes and bend him over so his genitalia could be inspected. He ran his nails down over the soft dangling flesh of Sheppard's phallus and testes. "Small for your size," he needled. Sheppard swore at him. It was too bad that Sheppard was a male; humiliating him through the anal opening seemed less satisfactory, but Todd needed to work with what he had.

He had another drone bring him a handful of hive lubricant from the wall, and watched as it pushed as much as it could inside Sheppard. Sheppard's friends were angry, ratting at their cell bars. Todd had Sheppard turned to face them.

"Don't move unless you want to be badly hurt," Todd said, leaning down over Sheppard's back. "I tell you this as a friend."

He didn't get a reply; he hadn't expected one. He unfastened his trouserfront and extruded the hooked end of his aedeagus that covered the double-bulbed head. He pushed hard against Sheppard's opening, but patiently; when Sheppard lapsed in his tight clenching against violation, the whole knot slid smoothly in to nearly the length of Todd's hand.

"Your species does not have valvae," Todd told Sheppard. "I don't know how you keep your mates from escaping before the release of sperm. This is what it feels like," and he saw the drones tighten their hold as he pushed the valva in and felt it harden and spread, locking Sheppard to him until the copulation was complete. It was uncomfortable, an awkwardly small space that was unpleasantly hot around his aedeagus. But Sheppard shouted and whimpered with pain and degradation, fighting futilely against the implacable grasp of the drones, his bound hands at his back clenched into fists. It felt good to see Sheppard like this, perspiration shining along the arc of his back, anal opening fully dilated and full of Todd's dominance over him.

Todd had been able to hold back his instinctual need to copulate until the valva expanded, but now he was alive with urgency. He pushed into Sheppard again and again. The sound of Sheppard's cries with each thrust, bitten back, noises that Sheppard didn't want his hivemates to hear, were easy enough to pretend were hormone-driven mating clacks and chitterings. Todd had wondered whether he would find satisfaction taking Sheppard like any faceless drone. He shouldn't have doubted.

Todd shoved in hard and felt the release of sperm from his bulbs, a slow satisfying flow. He had several minutes left before the valva contracted again, so he had his drones pull Sheppard more upright. Sheppard was shaking, and his phallus was more rigid than it had been before, and slightly larger. Todd reached around and placed his feeding hand over the head of Sheppard's phallus. Sheppard's head jerked up in panic. Todd could just see his wide, fear-full eyes as he slid the head of Sheppard's phallus inside his feeding slit and contracted around it. He wanted to feed; he supposed he probably could, although the idea of having a corpse dangling off his aedeagus was repulsive. But he would settle for forcing Sheppard to extrude sperm despite his hivemates watching, despite the humiliation of having Todd's aedeagus still locked tightly in his anal opening, despite all of Sheppard's will to not give up any part of himself.

It didn't take long for Todd to discover how to move his hand and his feeding slit to make Sheppard's body react, but it took longer than Todd would have imagined for Sheppard to release sperm. Right before he did, Sheppard said, his voice soft and broken like the culled, "Please don't. Please. Don't. Please." But his body tightened and propelled the sperm out of his phallus anyway, the contractions making Todd's valva slip free of Sheppard's anal opening.

Todd stepped back. He held out his hand, and the waiting drone wiped it clean with a piece of fabric that had once been Sheppard's shirt. Todd indicated his own sensitive genitalia, and the drone immediately cleaned his aedeagus as well, and did up his trouserfront.

The drones were still holding Sheppard in the same posture. Todd could see that his anal opening was swollen and stretched. His own sperm was leaking out of Sheppard's body, tinged with blood, but not enough to cause worry.

"Stand up," Todd said, jerking his head at his drones. They released Sheppard, who stumbled as if he had just clawed out of his larval sac. "It is a wonderful thing, to have a brother." Sheppard was shivering, and not looking at his hivemates, even though they were calling his name. "And now I will uphold my end of the bargain," he added. "Because unlike you, John Sheppard, I am not one who betrays those I call brother." He had to laugh at the look on Sheppard's face.

Humans. He never would understand them, in all his days.