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Into the Fray, Unflinching

Chapter Text

Unflinching Mood

 

 

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching

Author: gldngr7

Rating: Explicit

Began: April 21, 2017

Chapters: ?

 

Feedback:  Encouragement is through comments is always welcome.  Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

 

Flags upon the floor

And on this cold war

Battle torn

Soldiers fold

Lay down your arms

Losing all control

And down this rabbit hole

Lost souls letting go

 

--Banners -- “Back When We Had Nothing”

 

Chapter 1

 

“Nooooooo!” he screams, watching helplessly as a chunk of heavy stone caves in the skull of his best friend.  Mon-El stands beneath the cell’s reinforced doorframe leading to the stairs to the ground floor, in relative safety as the ground shakes beneath his feet.  His hands clench tightly, unable to tear his eyes from the crushed foot peeking out from the rubble, a stream of blood making its way out from beneath.

 

And then the room explodes, rumbling from another meteor strike, this one a direct hit to the building and not just the nearby grounds.  The stone ceiling gives way, dropping the remains of the room above into the cell, like a shower of death and destruction.  He narrowly misses getting caught in the downpour by diving through the doorway and into the stairwell, which shakes but remains relatively intact.

 

He needs to escape before the entire building caves in on them…him…or risk being buried under the rubble like Ral.  He loses his footing several times as he climbs the stairs.  At the top, he finds the ancient iron door, at first, unwilling to budge.  He angles his shoulder upwards and puts his entire body weight into the next shove, earning a few inches of opening for his efforts.  One more and he might be able to squeeze through.

 

The next shove brings success and after some heavy resistance the door yields as though it had only been teasing and wished to make amends.  Mon-El falls to the floor as he loses his balance, landing face first in the speared corpse of a prison guard.  People must have panicked when the mayhem began, crawling over each other to get out, killing anyone who got in their way.  From the looks of it…he was murdered by one of his own.

 

Scrambling to his feet, he makes his way out of the palace dungeons, where the king likes to keep his most prized prisoners.  Likes to hear their screams as they’re tortured.  If it’s quiet enough in the main hall, the screams drift up during the evening meal, providing a background music that brings a sickening smile to the king’s face.

 

In the main hall, so close to the exit, to freedom, he discovers the damage done there is catastrophic.  More than half of the walls have collapsed, revealing outside a red sky streaked with meteors while the floor of the main hall looks like war zone, littered with debris and bodies.  Perhaps people seeking refuge in the great hall hoping the palace would keep them safe from the wrath of the gods that visits them now.

 

He picks his way through the stone and flames, the smell of charred flesh stinging his nostrils and forcing him to breathe through his mouth, until he hears a weak voice calling out for help.  Mon-El looks around for the source of the sound but is unable to pinpoint its location.  Another tremble beneath his feet has him reaching for something to steady himself and he glances toward the nearest exit.  Another weak call draws his attention again.

 

He’s already been forced to leave someone to die, can he live with another on his conscience?

 

Mon-El climbs over two piles of broken stone and several bodies before finding the source of the cry for help, just a grasping arm, reaching out through the rubble.  Carefully, he moves aside a pile of debris, only to discover that it’s her he’s attempting to rescue.  She wears what was once her finest gown, as though fully expecting to meet her patronage at the end of the world.

 

“Why?” she asks, blood pouring down her face from the gash in her scalp.  The falling stone had not been as kind to her as it had been to Ral, leaving her instead to linger in death.

 

“I don’t understand,” he says, shaking his head.

 

“He…he left me here.  Left me here,” she says, as though she’s been repeating the thought over and over in her head, like a data-crystal with a glitch.  Her lips quiver with the flood of adrenaline her body releases as it attempts to keep her conscious and alive.  “Left me here.”  Then she looks up, her bloody face changing as she truly sees him for the first time.  She takes a deep breath, one of her last, and says, “I’m so sorry…I was too scared to say no.”

 

“I know,” he mumbles, though he still finds it hard to look at her.  “It’s all right.   I don’t blame you.”  He busies himself instead with trying to free her, looking for something to pry loose the larger stones under which she’s buried.

 

“Too late,” she says, her hand reaching to grab his arm. 

 

“No,” he insists, even though he knows that’s stubborn denial speaking.

 

“This is my punishment.”

 

It is this statement that angers him, that turns the helpless feeling of emptiness in his gut into a burning, boiling rage that resembles the fury of the skies above his head.  And in this moment, he wants nothing more than to visit retribution on the man so good at getting his subjects to turn on themselves, even if just emotionally.  “Where is he?” he demands of her.  “Where has he gone?”

 

Her eyes widen, surprised by his fury.  She gasps for air, her lungs gurgling now with blood as it bubbles up in the back of her throat.  Too near death, the ability to speak now escapes her, leaving her only capable of pointing.  Mon-El follows the direction of her finger to see another body.  The deceased is unfamiliar to him, but the Kryptonian glyph on his uniform tells him everything he needs to know, as does the distinct weapons discharge burn on the man’s face.

 

Mon-El reaches for her hand, taking it in his just before it drops to the ground.  “I’m here,” he promises, even as her eyes glaze over.  Her lifeless grip held tightly in his strong one, he watches as the light fades entirely from her once-stunning eyes and her last breath gurgles out.  He waits for another gasping wheeze, a last bid for life, but none is forthcoming and so he crosses her hand over her chest and leaves her.

 

As he steps over the remains of the Kryptonian he notices something clutched in the man’s hand.  Bending down, he pries the stiffening fingers open to pull out a data-crystal.  Immediately, he recognizes its purpose and a tiny seed of hope sprouts in his chest.  If his instincts about the king are correct, and they always are, there may still be time.  Time to make him pay for Ral’s death.  Time to give Ral’s death some meaning.

 

Finding new resolve, Mon-El grips the crystal tightly in his hand, takes a weapon from the body of another dead guard and picks his way quickly out of the building until standing beneath a sky that’s on fire.  He’s never been in a war zone like they had in the dark times, before wars were fought amongst the stars, and until today, there’s been only the beautifully repurposed remains of the ancient palace to serve as reminder.  Mon-El imagines that that the dark times, the day that palace fell, must have looked something like this.  Green meteors, pieces of a dead planet, rain down striking Daxam unpredictably and without mercy.  He takes off at run, in the direction of the nearby Embassy where the Kryptonian Emissary would have been required by protocol to land and quarter his pod.  Likely, a larger ship, perhaps a dreadnought is in orbit somewhere, shadowed behind one of Daxam’s three moons.  It was just like Krypton to send an Emissary of peace, but provide military back-up; to offer one hand in truce, while keeping a proverbial knife stashed behind their backs. 

 

They could never be trusted.

 

His feet fueled by rage, Mon-El ran.  Dodging rock and secondary explosions, he leapt over the bodies of those beyond help and blocked out the voices of those crying out for assistance.  There was nothing he could do for them.  He couldn’t help his own bond-brother, how could possibly help them?  So he ran, so fast it felt as though his feet hardly touched the burning ground.  So fast it was almost like flying.

 

Just as expected, Mon-El found the coward berating one of his guards for failing to gain entry to the hatch of the Kryptonian craft.  A circle of bodies surrounds the pod, a cadre of people desperate to escape, who gambled on their chance to reach the vehicle, and lost.

 

“Missing something, Your Majesty?” Mon-El shouted, the title more of a curse than an honorific.  He holds up the crystal he’d taken from the Kryptonian corpse, dangling it from the tip of his fingers like bait before a vexlar beast.

 

Even from this distance, Mon-El can see the mixture of hope and terror fill the king’s eyes.  The older man’s steel gray eyes, identical to his own, narrow to slits as he turns to the guard keeping watch.  “Get the crystal,” he demands.

 

Unquestioningly, the guard raises his weapon and points it Mon-El, who does the same, his hand shaking only a little.  “Give me the crystal,” the guard commands, a slight tremor in his voice.  He startles when another meteor strikes nearby with a deafening report, shaking the ground beneath them.

 

Mon-El shakes his head slowly.  “Daxam falls,” he tells the guard.  “Will you die for this man?  This tyrant?”  He can see the man’s eyes the moment, when the guard’s resolve waivers.  The weapon lowers and without a backwards glance the guard quits the field of battle, running as though towards something for which he is, in fact, willing to die.

 

A glance at the second guard, offering the same silent question, results in a similar desertion, but this time the guard drops his weapon at his feet before running away.  The king scrambles to pick up the gun, and brandishes it at Mon-El without a second thought.  Without his guards, his ministers of pain, he’s the coward Mon-El always imagined him to be.  The king is the coward Mon-El was always afraid he would become.

 

Mon-El grabs the barrel of the weapon, the king’s fearful eyes widening, but instead of taking the weapon, he placed the barrel against his own forehead.  “Yes,” he seethes.  “Kill me,” his voice shouts, a vision of Ral’s crushed skull flashing before his eyes.  “Kill me now.”  Then with a terrible laugh he reminds him, “Your ‘Last Hope’.”

 

Mon-El can see the hesitancy on the older man’s face.  His Majesty isn’t one for waste after all, not when it comes down to the ferrovanadium rivets.  And after all the currency and effort and lives he had poured into ensuring the continuance of his dynasty, he couldn’t just end it all right here without at least a second thought.  He couldn’t just pull the trigger and end more than 40 years of planning, not after all that he’d worked so hard to build.  Especially not since his plan has yet to come to fruition.

 

Fortunately, for Mon-El, there is no such reluctance on his part.  He isn’t afraid of death and hasn’t been for a long time.  There were times, when things were at their worst, he prayed to gods he didn’t believe in for his body to fail.  Prayed that there was some hidden time bomb within him, some internal traitor that would turn against him and put a premature end to the king’s plan.  It would serve the tyrant right.  But as always, time and time again, the tide turned in the king’s favor.

 

Until now.

 

Despite his reluctance, given enough time to consider the alternatives the king will eventually realize that only one of them will survive this catastrophe, and when his mind reaches that conclusion, he will not hesitate to pull the trigger.  But all it takes is that moment of indecision for Mon-El to make his move.

 

He knocks the weapon from the king’s hand, practically breaking the old man’s wrist in the process.  Doubling over in pain, he cradles the injured appendage in his other hand, whimpering like the coward he is.  A feeling of pleasure at seeing the old man in pain rises up within him and Mon-El shoves it back down into his deepest corners.  That darkness is something Mon-El refuses to give its lead.

 

He points his weapon at the king’s head, imagines pulling the trigger and watching his face melt off like the Kryptonian Emissary’s – that face he hates so much but can never escape.  Killing him now would bring meaning to Ral’s death, would make his brother’s suffering, the loss of his eyes, of his love and of the slow drain of his life, worth it.  But it would be over for the king in a second and it wouldn’t hit him where it hurts the most.

Hardly an even trade, without the barest hint of justice.

 

“You’re not going anywhere,” he decides.  “You have a lot to answer for, and I’m here to make sure you do.”

 

“Who do you think you are?” the king spits, still bent over.  Around his neck dangles a chain with a delicate flat crystal attached.

 

“Exactly what you made me,” Mon-El replies, reaching forward and grabbing the chain and tearing it free.

 

“No!” the king cries.

 

“For your crimes against your people, I sentence you to live as one of them…in the paradise you created.  That is…if you can manage to survive the wrath of the gods.”  He punches the king square in the jaw, sending him sprawling to the ground, and Mon-El allows himself to feel that pleasure for a microsecond.  “That was for Ral,” he announces, as he slips the Royal Seal into his pants pocket.

 

Turning towards the Kryptonian pod, he swipes the first crystal against the outer panel of the pod, which chirps happily as though recognizing its passenger.  The hatch opens and grasping the external frame Mon-El uses it as leverage to leap into the cockpit.  As the hatch closes he tosses out the weapon and, through the clear canopy, surveys the ruins of the Capital City, a place he never learned to love, but is the only home he’s ever known.  He can’t stay here, not if he plans to fulfill the last promise he made to Ral.  He doesn’t know how, or even what his brother meant, but he knows he must live, for Ral’s sake, even if it means leaving so many others to die. 

 

He glances down at the prostrate king, who scrambles for the weapon Mon-El discarded a moment before.  He won’t feel guilty about leaving him to his fate, not after all that he’s done.  It’s better than he deserves, and so much kinder than the ‘justice’ he’s extracted from others for crimes with far less impact.  The king fires the weapon at the canopy, but to no effect.  The pod, of course, is built to withstand the perils of outer space after all and is nearly indestructible by normal means.

 

He places his palm on the control panel and without plotting a course, he ignites the engines, the pod shaking in combination with the engines flaring to life and a meteor striking just a few yards away.  It’s a few breathless moments before he feels the pod lift-off.  Still another moment before inertia becomes momentum and he’s rocketing upwards at a steep angle, picking up speed in the ship’s determination to break through the atmosphere.

 

Perhaps the pod’s course will take him to the Kryptonian dreadnought no doubt hiding in the shadow of Daxam’s largest moon.  If he is silent, the dreadnought’s docking protocols will bring him aboard. No doubt they will throw him in the brig, if he’s lucky, but at least there’s a chance of survival, however miniscule.

 

As he clears atmosphere, the view from the canopy slides from a dusky red and gray to the black of outer space with a crackle, his ears adjusting from the onslaught of noise caused by friction and combustion, to the profound silence provided by a near vacuum.  That he made it offworld without being destroyed by meteors is a miracle to be sure, but one that has yet to fully play out, if the wall of meteors headed his way are any indication.

 

A computer voice breaks the silence, startling him out of the sudden terror washing over him.

 

“Loth-El, I am detecting multiple projectiles on a collision course with this pod.  Anything more than a glancing blow will have catastrophic results.  Shall I plot evasive maneuvers?”

 

So that was his name…the Kryptonian Emissary.  Apropos, it seems.  His father, the king would often laugh about naming him Mon-El, rather than bestowing upon him an official name from House Gand.  The Kryptonian House of El spoke loftily of hope and never giving up, and so his father had given him the name Mon-El, which translated to ‘last hope’.  It was a name bestowed with derision, and used with such intent from his earliest memories to his last.  It seems destined, somehow, that his only hope for rescue should come in the form of pod belonging to a member of the House of El.

 

“Yes!” he replies.  “Evasive maneuvers!”

 

A moment of silence without course-correction from the pod is followed by the computer’s voice speaking once more.  “You are not Loth-El,” the voice decides.  Mon-El rolls his eyes.  The computer’s voice is haughty and arrogant – so definitely Kryptonian.  “Where is Loth-El?”

 

“Loth-El is dead,” he replies honestly.  “Killed in the first wave of the meteor shower you have obviously detected,” he adds, not so honestly.

 

“State your identity.”

 

“My name is Mon-El.”

 

Immediately, as though hearing a magic word, the pod picks up speed, headed straight for the next wave of meteors.  Mon-El closes his eyes and waits for death, but is instead surprised when the ship begins to weave in and out of the wall of rock until it emerges from the other side without so much as a glancing blow from the projectiles.

 

“Well done!” he shouts, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

 

“My name is Benix, Mon of the House of El,” the pod replies.  “I have taken the liberty of laying in the next course as Loth-El requested upon his arrival on Daxam.”

 

“Excellent,” he answers.  “Where is the dreadnought hiding?”

 

“The last Kryptonian dreadnought was destroyed when Krypton exploded,” Benix informs him, her voice modulator shifting to a sad tone.  “Fourteen thousand, three hundred and thirty-six souls lost in the escape attempt, Mon-El.  Sixty-two percent of which were children under the age of sixteen.”

 

Mon-El feels a pang of sadness at the incomprehensible loss, wondering why Benix feels the needs to share that devastating data.  “But if there’s no dreadnought…then where are we headed?”

 

“To the Sol System,” she answers succinctly.  “The journey will take four Kryptonian years.  Deep space stasis will commence in five…four…three…two….”

 

“No, wait!” he has more questions.  What’s in this Sol System?  What can he expect to find there?  How will he survive?  Will there be others?

 

“One,” Benix intones, her voice followed by the hissing sound of the pod valves releasing the stasis gas.

 

He has no choice but to breathe in.  There’s nowhere to hide from the gas that will keep him in a sleep state until the counteragent is released upon landing and it’s time to awaken.  Darkness closes in around him like he’s being dragged under the surface of a lake kicking and screaming.

 

When his eyes open again, he’s back in Ral’s cell standing over the dying body of his brother-in-bond.  The brother he can’t save.  The brother he knows he’ll be forced to watch die.

 

Again.

 

******

 

Three days.

 

Three days of sitting by his bedside and begging him to wake up and just…talk to her.  Three days of leaving the safety of National City in the hands of Martian Manhunter and…Guardian.  Three days of learning frustratingly little about Mon-El’s condition.

 

Kara sits on the toilet in the last stall of the bathroom, waiting for the next wave of tears to hit.  She’s been here for nearly an hour, maybe even two, it’s hard to tell time when every minute feels like an hour.  She’s managed to wrangle her emotions into submission, but the twisting, stabbing pain in her gut tells her that isn’t going to last long.

 

She came here because it was only the place she could get any privacy, escape the looks of pity, and remain close to him.  She could be by his side in a second, and even now she has one ear trained to the beeps and drips of the medical equipment attached to him.  Which is why Kara doesn’t hear her sister coming until the bathroom door opens.

 

Damn.  She forgot to lock the door.

 

“Kara?” Alex pokes her head in the room, her body language suggesting that some pushback is expected.  When none is forthcoming, she slips into the room and does what Kara forgot to do.  Locks the door.  “I know you’re in here.”

 

“No, I’m not,” Kara answers.  It is inside joke between them that began not long after Kara started junior high school after arrival on Earth.  More than once Kara hid out in bathroom stalls during her sixth-grade year.  More than once, eighth-grade Alex tracked her down to a bathroom stall to talk her into rejoining the world that still frightened her.  Alex had always been good at tracking her down, at which time she would call out, ‘I know you’re in there’, and Kara would reply, ‘no, I’m not.’  It usually put a glimmer of a smile on her face.

 

But not today.  Today it feels like she may never smile again.

 

“You’ve been in here for nearly three hours,” Alex informs her.  “I was starting to worry that you fell in.”

 

Three hours?  Her mind and emotions had distorted time worse than she thought.  Her emotions having been coming and going in waves like nausea.  Just when she thinks it might be okay to step out of the stall, the tears well up again.  Like now.  Kara tears another strip of toilet paper from the roll, and catches the tears before they can roll down her cheeks.

 

Alex slips into the next-door stall and sits down on the toilet.  She leans her ahead against the shared wall, and hearing the discreet thunk, Kara does the same.  “Want to talk about it?” Alex asks.

 

Kara shakes her head, knowing that even though Alex can’t see it, she will sense it.  “Is there anything new?” she asks, not sure if she wants to hear the answer.

 

“His brain has maintained a low Theta wave state of consciousness for three days now.”

 

“What does that mean?”

 

“People experience Theta wave consciousness when they’re in a dream state, but after a brief period in Theta we usually slip into Delta, or ‘slow wave’ sleep.  That’s where we enter a restful state, where our minds are able to rejuvenate.  That’s not happening with Mon-El.  Something’s going on in his brain.”

 

“What if I broke him?” she asks.  It’s the question that’s been percolating in the in the back of her mind for three days.  She hit him pretty hard after his powers had flared out, leaving him as vulnerable and as frail as any human.  “What if I…damaged his brain?”

 

“You broke his nose,” Alex says.  “And his jaw.  Both of which healed after we hooked the electrical leads to him.  He probably had a concussion, but there’s no reason to believe that wouldn’t have healed as well.  Scans show there’s no bleeding or swelling.  His brain is fine.”

 

“Then why won’t he wake up?”

 

“His brain is fine,” Alex reiterates.  “But…like most brains…his is still a mystery.  It’s clear that, so far, his autonomic reflexes remain intact.  He’s breathing on his own and reacting to pain stimuli, all promising things.”  Alex sighs a deep breath, putting a pause on the conversation.  “But I didn’t come in here to talk about Mon-El, I came in here to check on you.  You need to be taken care of too,” she says.

 

“I’m fine.”

 

“You haven’t slept in three days.  Barely eaten.  You must be running on nothing but rads by now.  First, you refused to leave his side at all, and now you’ve suddenly gone to hide in the bathroom for three hours.  Your guests have been asking about you, by the way.  Talk to me, Kara.  It’s just us, okay?  Is it about the things he said before the meltdown?”

 

That’s what they were calling it now.  The Meltdown, as if he were a nuclear plant that simply lost control of its cooling systems.  Kara grimaces, because in a way, that’s exactly what happened, and she is primarily responsible for the fallout.

 

“It’s not uncommon for people in the throes of a PTSD episode to enter what’s called a ‘dissociative fugue’,” Alex explains, filling the silence while simultaneously trying to reassure her sister.  “It’s likely that, when he wakes up, he might not remember anything that happened.”

 

“You mean he might not remember that I stabbed him in the back?”

 

“You did what you thought was best.”

 

“No, I did what you thought was best,” Kara corrects.  “I knew before I even talked to you that putting him in containment might be a possibility, but I stupidly assumed it would be a last resort and not the knee-jerk reaction.”

 

“Maybe you’re right,” Alex sighs.  “Maybe I could have been more delicate, and for that I’m sorry.”

 

“I’m not the one who deserves your apology.”  Kara wipes at another tear that rolls down her cheek and sighs.  “Some of the things he said, Alex,” she shakes her head.  “What happened back there?”

 

“Whatever it was…Kara…it doesn’t sound like his PTSD started with the destruction of Daxam.  It may go back farther than that.”

 

“He wanted me to kill him,” she says. 

 

“Kara, he wasn’t in his right mind.  You don’t even know if he was lucid.”

 

“What could be so bad…that he’d want to die?”

 

“Whatever it was…he’s going to have to face it.  One way or another.  Or it won’t be last time he detonates like that.  I don’t know him as well as you do, Kara, but I like to think he wouldn’t want that to happen.”

 

“No,” she agrees.  “No, he wouldn’t.”

 

“So,” Alex drawls, “are you ready to tell me what drove you in here?  After three days of refusing to let him out of your sight?”

 

Damn.  Kara hoped that their conversation had been driven far enough off topic that it wouldn’t make its way back around to the starting line.  She isn’t going to let this go, and lying and telling her she just wanted privacy isn’t going to fly.  Not with Alex.  The lump of sadness—of grief she shouldn’t even be allowed to feel—rises again in her throat, choking off her voice.

 

“Kara?” Alex presses.

 

“Cramps,” she confesses with a sniffle, her voice like gravel and clearly thick with unexpected emotions.

 

“Cramps?” Alex echoes, her tone exhibiting surprise at this reply.  “You don’t usually—“

 

“I know!” Kara bemoans, tears gathering again.  “And it came a day early!”

 

“But you’re never early!  I could set a clock by—“

 

“I know.  I’m freaking Universal Mean Time, okay?  But this time I was early – like my body decided to add insult to injury.”

 

“Wait a minute,” Alex shakes her head in confusion.  “I’m lost here.  Did you think you might be—“

 

“Yes!”

 

“So you an Mon-El had unprotected—“

 

“It was an accident!” Kara defended.

 

“That pushes the boundaries of the definition of accident,” Alex quips.  “You promised me that—“

 

“It was just the once.  We got a little caught up.”

 

“So that’s why Mom asked me to—“

 

“Did you figure it out?”

 

“Who do you think you’re talking to here?” Alex questions, only slight offended.  “Of course, I figured it out.  But let’s take a step back.  I want to get this straight: you wanted to be—“

 

“Not at first, don’t be ridiculous.  But then…after we talked about it, I knew that everything might be okay if I was.  It’s not like I was keeping my fingers crossed for a positive result though.”

 

“So then why are you in here—“

 

“I don’t know, okay?  I just am.  I got my period and I started crying and now I can’t stop.  The thing is…I started to wonder, you know?  What it might be like.  Would we have a girl or a boy?  I imagined this little girl…”  She wants to go on, to tell Alex all the things she pictured about her imaginary daughter, but can’t bring herself to say more.  In her life on this planet, there have been few things Kara couldn’t share with Alex, and this is one of them.  It’s just somehow, too personal.

 

“You got attached to the idea,” Alex concludes.

 

“I let it become more than just an idea,” Kara explains, nodding.  “We talked about it…about starting a family.”  She crumbles and the tears begin in earnest as though they a starting for the first time…again.  “I just feel like everything’s falling apart!”

 

“I know,” Alex says.  “But it’s not, okay?  We’re all here for you…and for Mon-El.  J’onn is holding down the fort…with James.  I shouldn’t have been surprised by that,” Alex comments, referring to James’ coming out as Guardian, “but I was.”

 

“You and me both,” Kara snorts.

 

“Thanks to the device that gives you a direct line to parallel worlds, Dr. Snow is working with the rest of the medical team to figure out how to bring him out of this…whatever it is.  And Winn is working with Cisco to find a way to help him control his new, and more dangerous, abilities when he does wake up.  When…not if,” Alex stresses.  “And they’ve had some progress on that front.”

 

“They have?”

 

“It’s one of the reasons I came looking for you.  They seemed awfully excited.  They were even finishing each other’s sentences, which is ridiculously cute.”

 

“What did they find out?” Kara wonders, sniffing away the last of her tears.

 

“They could probably explain it better than I.  How about…you splash some water on your face, straighten yourself up and join the rest of the world again?”

 

“Alex…?”

 

“It’s just between us,” Alex answers Kara’s unasked question, standing up from her seat.  “When your period ends, you can start taking the pills.”

 

They exit their respective stalls at the same time, Alex taking Kara into her arms as soon as she’s close enough.  Kara sinks into her sister’s embrace as though it’s the balm for which she’s been searching.  Between the two of them, Kara has always been the strongest physically, but Alex is the stalwart – with the uncanny ability to put emotions into context and events into perspective.

 

“I miss him,” Kara whispers into her sister’s hair.

 

“I know.”  Alex strokes Kara’s hair, just as she did when they were teenagers and Kara had rough adjustment days.  “We’ll figure this out, Kara.  He’ll come back to you.  I’m certain of it.”

 

“How can you be so certain?”

 

“I’m taking a page out of your book, Kara.  I refuse to believe that God or Rao or the Universe or whatever, brought him all this way for you, just so you can lose him now.” 

 

“What about not believing in that stuff?”

 

“I believe in what I can see and what I can measure.  I believe in cause and effect – actions and reactions.  And I can see it all now,” Alex announces, pulling Kara out of her embrace so that she can make eye contact.  “You are right, Kara…too many things had to happen in just the right order at just the right time to bring the two of you together.  A few too many coincidences to make the generally random nature of coincidences a plausible rationalization.”

 

“What are you saying?” Kara asks.

 

“The Blessed Path, remember?” Alex replies.  “Maybe it needs you to keep the faith.”

 

It made an odd sort of sense to Kara.  As if this were merely a test, an obstacle in their way that needed only to be hurdled.  When she thinks of it this way she can feel the determination bubble up inside of her.  He will find his way out whatever darkness has sucked him under – find his way back to her.  And she will be by his side, waiting, when he does.  This is just another obstacle.  And if there’s one thing Kara knows how to do, it is tear down things that get in her way.

 

With a new lease on her innate tenacity, Kara stalks to the sink and turns on the faucet.  She splashes cold water over her tear-stained cheeks while Alex hands her a few paper towels to dry off.

 

Examining herself in the mirror, she straightens her spine and tugs at the hem of her thoroughly wrinkled blouse in hopes of making it appear slightly more presentable.  “Let’s go see what Cisco and Winn have come up with,” she says.

 

Alex nods, succinctly.  “Atta girl.”

 

TBC

Chapter Text

 

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching

Author: gldngr7

Rating: Explicit

Began: April 21, 2017

Chapters: ?

 

Feedback:  Encouragement and constructive criticisms are always welcome.  Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

 

Chapter 2/?

 

                                 I do what it takes to make this right

                                          But, we got to stop before the regret

                                                       After the war is won

                               There's always the next one

                                        I'll do what it takes to make this right

 

                                               --“Armor” by Landon Austin

 

Mon-El watches from behind as Morgon peeks around the corner then turns his head to make sure they are still alone in the corridor.  He’s antsy about being out in the open like this, so exposed to anyone who might walk around the corner or step out of any of the host of doors within his sightline.  Quickly losing patience with his bond-brother’s apparent indecisiveness he pokes Morgon on the shoulder.  “What do you see?” he asks, his whisper far too loud to be considered secretive.

 

“Are you trying to get us caught?” Morgon turns back with a hiss.  His frustration is the kind that only an older brother can truly feel, and though he feels it keenly, after four years this role still feels new to him.  His mother and Mon-El’s father celebrated the fourth commemoration of their latching just last month – though the word ‘celebrating’ implies a much more jovial event then the dour feast which actually transpired.  It is no secret that his mother regrets the match, despite the wealth and position it now affords her.  “Do you want to go back to the Rector Sem?” he asks his younger brother.

 

At the mention of their tutor’s name, Mon-El’s eyes widen and he shakes his head frantically.  They had narrowly escaped Rector Sem’s tutoring lesson for the day, and Mon-El is certain that if forced to return, the Rector would turn red in the face, and his eyes would squint and burn with righteous fire.  While Ral has a singular ability to laugh off Rector Sem’s bluster, Mon-El can do little but curse his quaking knees when in the man’s presence.

 

He envies his big brother’s courage and longs to be just like him, to stand up for what’s right and not back down, but though he tries his best, he always falls shy of the goal.  Instead he finds himself often standing in his elder bond-brother’s shadow, rather than stepping out into the sun’s rays.  Much to Father’s vocal displeasure.

 

“We’re almost there,” Morgon whispers.  “Just one more flight and two more hallways.  I heard some handmaidens talking about it the other day.  How come if there’s a treasure room, we’ve never heard about it?” Morgon wonders skeptically.

 

“Well, treasure rooms are supposed to be secret, aren’t they?” Mon-El shrugs, pragmatically.  He doesn’t really care that much about finding treasure, he’s here for the adventure with his big brother.

 

“If handmaidens know, then everyone knows.  That’s what Mother says,” Morgon replies with a slight roll of his eyes. 

 

Mon-El nods sagely in agreement.  Even though they always grow suddenly quiet around him, he knows the servants are constantly whispering about one thing or another.  Telling secrets.  “The treasure’s probably all gone by now.”

 

“Coast is clear,” Morgon announces, and shoves Mon-El in front of him.  “Up the stairs.”

 

Mon-El races across the corridor and into the stairwell as fast as his short legs will carry him.  Father told him once that his legs would grow long and strong someday, just as his own once had, but Mon-El is quickly growing weary of waiting for that day to come.  He has a hard time keeping up with Morgon’s longer, quicker strides.

 

As if to prove the inferiority of Mon-El’s legs, Morgon joins his younger brother in the stairwell in three quick steps and then he leaps up the stairs themselves, taking them two at a time.  He tosses a glance over his shoulder at Mon-El.  “C’mon,” he says.  “Keep up.”

 

Mon-El struggles to do just that, his short, spindly legs unable to take the stairs more than one riser at a time or risk falling on his face, a move that could easily get them caught where they shouldn’t be.  “Wait for me,” he calls out, his voice raised only slightly above a whisper.

 

By the time he reaches the top of the stairs, Morgon is, once again, peering around the corner, on the lookout for unwanted witnesses.  He holds a hand back, signaling Mon-El to stop before moving like a flash, pressing them both against the stairwell wall.  Mon-El instinctively understands that silence at this time would be prudent, so of course his body responds with an ill-timed nervous hiccup.  He covers his mouth with both hands to mask the sound.  One of Morgan’s hands joins his to assist in the effort, just as a servant marches past the stairs carrying a stack of boxes.

 

Thankfully, the manservant is too busy and too laden to take notice of the shadowy presence just a few feet away.  Morgon breathes a sigh of relief when the servant is out of earshot.  Mon-El hiccups.

 

“Will you be quiet?” Morgon whispers.

 

“I can’t—“ hiccup –“help it!”  This always happens when he’s nervous, his diaphragm going into uncontrollable spasms.  Father despises it and sends him from the room, a disgusted scowl etched on his face, every time it happens.  Which is almost every time they’re in the same room together, except when Father ignores him.

 

“Hold your breath,” Morgon instructs.

 

“M’olding m’bref,” he mumbles around loosely sealed lips.  A roll of the eyes from Morgon has Mon-El gulping a deep breath of air and sealing his lips more tightly this time.  Still his hiccups continue, tearing painfully at his insides.  Before he can stop Morgon, his big brother disappears around the corner, where Mon-el is unable to follow lest his hiccups give away their position.  So, he has no choice but to wait.

 

And wait.

 

While waiting he takes three more deep breaths, holding each one until his vision turns grey around the edges and his lungs threaten to burst.  None of the breaths eradicate the stubborn hiccups though.  “Hic!” he hiccups, surrendering to his body’s own form of torture.

 

“Glaaaaaaarrrr!” screams Morgon, popping back around the corner, his face distorted and his hands raised to simulate the talons of a yellow-skinned glarbeast.  His lips pulled back into a snarl.

 

Startling, his heart set to racing in his chest, Mon-El lashes out at Morgon, punching him hard on the shoulder with all of his insignificant might, only somewhat mollified to see the self-satisfied smirk disappear from his brother’s deceptively angelic face.  “You’re going to get into trouble,” he whines.

 

Mon-El knows that, unfair or not, he wouldn’t get into trouble.  Not by anyone who might catch them, at any rate.  His punishment would be reserved for deliverance by Father, should the man decide to care.  Mon-El could never predict when the man would determine a punishment worth the trouble involved in administering it.  Should they be caught, it’s likely that Morgon would be hastened away to his mother, while Mon-El would merely be returned to the Rector’s classroom.

 

“There’s no one left up here,” Morgon explains with a careless shrug.  “I checked all around.  You can stop hiding.”  He reaches out his hand to clasp Mon-El’s, tugging him the rest of the way up the stairs.

 

Mon-El examines the deserted hallway searching for any signs that his brother is pranking him.  Such actions on his part, though good-natured, are not unheard of.  He’s never been to this part of the palace before, since it was closed off decades ago, after a tragedy of which people never speak in voices above a whisper.  It appears to be used for storage now, mostly, servants only visiting to retrieve items that were tucked away out of sight, and always with their eyes steadfastly averted away for the dark corridor in which he now entered.

 

“No one bothers to clean up here,” Morgon comments, running his finger over a tabletop thick with layers of dust.”

 

Ancient works of art, portraits on old-fashioned canvas line the corridor, each draped with a sheer, iridescent covering designed to protect it from dust and contaminants.  It does nothing, however, to protect the fine art from being forgotten.  Morgon peels back the covering to get an unimpeded look at the portrait.

 

“You shouldn’t do that!” Mon-El warns, his stomach twisting with anxiety.  “You might hurt it, and Father will get angry.”

 

Morgon sticks out his tongue, blowing a careless raspberry.  “The king won’t even notice,” he adds, with a shrug.  “If he cares so much for this stuff, why doesn’t he have it where people can see it?”

 

It is a point Mon-El finds difficult to argue, but still he grabs Morgon’s arm and pulls him away from the portrait, catching only the quickest glimpse of its ethereal subject in the process.  The metal plate beneath the portrait reads, ‘Her Royal Highness, Princess Gata.  Wife to Prince Trel, House Gand’.

 

A shiver races down his spine at the site of the woman’s face and her striking blue eyes, her hand resting on her slightly protruding belly.  Mon-El presses the protective cover back down over the portrait.  He can still see her face through the sheer, shimmering weave, except she appears even more ghostlike, her sparkling eyes now dimmed to sadness – an emptiness like grief – and a sense of foreboding fills him.

 

“What is it?” Morgon wonders, sensing his younger brother’s reticence.

 

“Nothing.”  He shakes his head, scratching the back of his neck in an attempt to relieve the sudden sensation of insects crawling beneath his skin.  “I think I know why no one ever comes to this place.”

 

“Why?”

 

“The Purge.”

 

“What’s The Purge?” Morgon asks, though he uses a ridiculously melodramatic voice.

 

It’s not every day that Mon-El knows something that Morgon doesn’t, which only means he wishes he had more information to flaunt than he actually does.  By virtue of his position, and the fact that he’s lived in the Palace six years longer than Morgon has, he’s heard most of the rumors, many of them contradicting and therefore of no use to him.  He doesn’t know enough about The Purge to provide an impressive display of knowledge.

 

“My great-grandfather’s brother – he was supposed to be king and not my great-grandfather – did something bad—“

 

“What did he do?”

 

“He killed his wife,” Mon-El nods at the covered painting, “and then himself.  They say he went insane and became some religious maniac.  And then his father the king, died just a few days later.  Heartbroken…they say.  After my great-grandfather became king, he said his brother was a traitor and had all memory of them wiped from the Daxcess.  Then he had these apartments closed off, declaring them Forbidden, and decreed that their belongings be destroyed.”

 

“Except the portrait…?” Morgon wonders.

 

“She was kind to him,” Mon-El explains.  “So he allowed it to remain, but he would not allow it to be placed in the portrait gallery.  It has to stay up here…covered…so no one can see it.”

 

“Her husband already killed her,” Morgon grimaces.  “What did she do to deserve more punishment?”

 

“She was…Kryptonian,” Mon-El informs his brother, the word tasting like bitter alm berries on his tongue.

 

“Oh,” Morgan nods.  “Maybe she was a spy.”

 

“Some people say he loved her.  How can you love a Kryptonian?” Mon-El asks.

 

Morgon regards the portrait once more, crossing his arms and rocking back on his heels as he has witnessed from the Royal Assayer.  “She was quite beautiful,” he points out, pragmatically.

 

Mon-El swallows the bitter taste in his mouth that always rises when Morgon starts talking about girls.  His older brother sees something in the frippery creatures that he cannot understand, no matter how hard he tries.  “It wouldn’t matter how beautiful she is, I would rather die than love a Kryptonian,” he declares, his tone one of absolute certainty, albeit a bit dramatic.

 

“Well, I wouldn’t care if she was a Lizarkon,” Morgon counters. 

 

“Eww,” Mon-El pulls a face and tries not to laugh, but fails miserably.  “Disgusting.”

 

Morgon shrugs one shoulder, unoffended by his brother’s opinion.  “Mother says you can’t help who you love.  It just happens.  Sometimes slow and sometimes fast, but you can’t fight it.  You can try…but you’ll always lose.”  Morgon has never known his mother to be wrong, and therefore has no reason to doubt her word.

 

As a young boy, before his mother latched to the king, she would tell him stories of her love for his father, of their love for one another.  It was her way of keeping his father present – keeping him alive.  Like most Daxamite alliances, theirs had been arranged, but that had not stopped them from falling deeply in love, according to his mother.  His vague recollections of the happy times before his father was killed were of two people who danced in each other’s arms and smiled down at him as if he was their perfect Approval Day gift.  Reflic Ral’s grin, with his perfectly white teeth and carefree easiness, still clings to the outskirts of Morgon’s memory six years after the man’s tragic and unexplained death.  He wishes he could remember more of them in their happy times instead of mere glimpses, and his mother no longer speaks of him.

 

After a palace soiree celebrating something no one can even recall anymore, Reflic went missing for two days, before his body was found floating in the choppy, crimson waters of a nearby lake.  No signs of struggle or even foul play were present – and neither was internal evidence of drowning.  It is a mystery about which people in their social caste still whisper.

 

A light went out of his mother after that, Morgon recalls, and though she tried her best to keep up her spirits for him, her smile never quite travelled to her eyes any more.  One year after his father’s death, almost to the day, Daxam’s king approached her at an event and initiated a formal courtship.  Though many of Daxam’s elite are matched with partners at very young ages and some, in special cases, are designed for their latch mate by the agents of the Procreational Authority of Genetic Enforcement, decades of warfare with Krypton had left more than a few patriots without a spouse.

 

King Vir Gand had been latched no less than three times before initiating courtship with Tieran Ral, second daughter to House Is.  His first marriage ended one year before he ascended the throne, caused by a virulent illness in which she lingered painfully for months before finally succumbing.  Prince Vir married his second wife less than four months later, having not provided a timely heir during his first union. 

 

Each subsequent wife lasted longer than the previous, the last – Her Royal Highness Princess Cienne – surviving six years and succumbing to illness just three weeks after Mon-El was deemed exceptional and released by PAGE.   After the death of three wives, inevitable rumors surfaced of course, but most went unheeded by the upper classes, or at least…unrepeated.  No one in a position of opulence cared to make an enemy of the sitting monarch, lest they be unceremoniously relieved of title, lands and position.

 

So, for reasons known only to the King, after six years without a wife, he pursued the widow Ral.  He viewed her growing son simultaneously as a minor inconvenience and a method by which he could keep his own progeny occupied and thus, out of his hair.  Fatherhood was nowhere on his priority list.

 

His mother had explained that marrying into House Gand would bring great advantages for his future, which was the only reason she agreed to the alliance in the first place.  She would never love again, not as she had loved his father, but she could make certain Morgon had the best start in life a widowed mother could provide.  No one knows better than Morgon, however, that his mother is unhappy in her marriage to the King of Daxam.  Her eyes are dull and lifeless now, dark circles beneath them like that never quite seem to go away.  And now and then, though she went to great lengths to hide it, Morgon would catch sight of bruises on her wrists and neck.

 

A noise from the stairwell tears Morgon from his woolgathering, focusing his attention in the direction of the sound.  Grabbing Mon-El, who stares unfocused at the approaching danger, he tugs his younger brother across the hall, his hands grappling at the oversized doorknob of the nearest room.

 

Locked.

 

Mon-El’s breath intensifies as he stares over his shoulder like a hunted fennick, Morgon tugging him to the next door in the long corridor, then the next, and then the next, until he finds one that gives way at his insistence. Morgon shoves his little brother into the room before spinning back to close the door, leaving it open just enough to peer out with one partially concealed eye.  As expected, the noise stems from a servant climbing the stairs, arms laden with items to return to storage.  The man disappears into a room at the end of the hall for a moment, before exiting, relieved of his burden.

 

“Morgon,” Mon-El’s voice says, tugging on his sleeve.

 

“Give me a minute,” he whispers, waiting for the servant to disappear down the stairs from whence he came.

 

“Morgon!”

 

“What?!” Morgon turns back, finally seeing the room that provided their escape.

 

“I think we found it,” Mon-El replies.

 

Found it indeed. 

 

The bedroom of Daxam’s doomed first couple, as evidenced by the massive bed that fills much of its space, stands as though left abandoned a century ago.  The bed even appears to be unmade, as if the assigned servant never bothered to set it to rights after the sudden deaths of its owners.  A formal gown lay strewn across a chair waiting to be worn, matching slippers neatly placed nearby.

 

Except for the layers of dust, the room appears exactly as abandoned over a century ago now.  A nightdress lay in a puddle on the floor, waiting patiently for disposal by a servant that never arrives.

 

“This is just a bedroom,” Morgon denies, with a shrug.

 

“This was their bedroom,” Mon-El qualifies.  “Where else would you hide a treasure but in a room where no one will ever go looking for it?  Just look…no one’s even been in this room for a century.”

 

“You have a devious mind, brother.”

 

Mon-El preens at both the praise and Morgon’s use of the familial moniker.  Even from the beginning, Morgon gave him a sense of belonging he never felt in his own home—with Father.

 

“I thought you said the old king had all of their belongings destroyed,” Morgon says, confused.

 

“I thought so too,” Mon-El says, also confused by the contradiction of the story he was told and reality before his eyes.  “He must have only ordered their qubigital records destroyed.”

 

“So he had them wiped from the Daxcess—“

 

“And all historical record,” Mon-El finishes.

 

“And all of the historical record,” Morgon echoes, “but didn’t have their personal items destroyed?”

 

“Maybe he couldn’t bring himself to do it,” Mon-El suggests, a trace of sadness in his tone.  “Maybe the new king loved his brother, even if he was a traitor.”

 

Morgon thought about his father and the small chest of personal effects he kept beneath his bed.  Most if it was inconsequential and yet he couldn’t bear to share any of it, or be rid of the items, as they were all things his father had touched or owned.  He can’t imagine throwing it away, no matter what his father might have done.  “That makes sense, I guess.”

 

As if the long undisturbed room calls out to the insatiable curiosity within him, Morgon goes straight for a nearby chest of drawers like a pollinator towards its colony.  He hesitates for a brief second, waiting for Mon-El to stop him, just as he had done when he’d tried to get a better look at the portrait.  When no protest is immediately forthcoming, he passes his hand over the sensor that opens the drawer.  It slides open with a soft whoosh and not the whine he expects, as though the tracks hadn’t gone unused for a century.

 

Borrowing a bit of Morgon’s brash recklessness, Mon-El heads for the trunk in corner of the immense chamber, drawn by the crest of House Gand emblazoned on its lid.  Pressing his palm to the symbol, the lid splits in two, each portion folding back in half and then again in quarters until the contents of the trunk are revealed.  Sitting atop the pile of contents is a black gown, in its center a Kryptonian glyph stark against the black with its sparkling silver thread.  In the center of the pentagon, a serpentine symbol that reminds Mon-El of a trail of smoke rising from the wax candles the Priestess uses in the ritual to worship Lure.

 

“Kryptonian?” Mon-El startles, and turns his head to find Morgon standing over his shoulder.  “There wasn’t anything in there but ladies’ clothes,” Morgon adds.  “Boring.  Looks like you got more of the same.  How much clothing does a woman need anyway?”

 

Mon-El looks beyond Morgon to the chest to find every drawer left open with, predictably, the contents dangling out.  He shakes his head and turns back to the black gown in his hand.  “House of Ur,” he declares.

 

“How do you know that?”

 

“Father made Rector Sem teach all of them to me.  All of the ones that matter, anyway.  House of Ur led the High Council for three centuries.  Four years ago, a rogue scientist blew a crater in one of their own moons testing a weapon, and the scandal was so bad the House of Ur was forced to abdicate their seat.  House of Am is in charge now,” he explains.

 

“Blowing up a moon!” Morgon delights.  “That sounds exultant!”

 

“Five hundred Kryptonians were living on it at the time,” Mon-El adds, watching as the smile melts from Morgon’s face.  Mon-El has no love for Kryptonians, not even a handful of colonists, but there’s no honor in a death at the hands of your own kind.  And there’s certainly no honor in perpetrating such deaths.

 

“Oh.  Was the scientist put to death?” Morgon asks, a spark of hope lighting in his eyes.

 

“Oh, Krypton no longer puts murderers to death like on Daxam.  Now they sentence them to a fate worse than death.”

 

“What’s worse than death?”

 

“They call it ‘The Phantom Zone’.”  He’s heard adults whisper about it – about the barbarity of it – but knew little about the origins of the Kryptonian prison, other than its ominous name.

 

“I’ve heard Mother talking about it,” Morgon answers and then shrugs.  “It doesn’t seem so bad.”

 

“They say it’s like a living Nerg-Tyr,” he counters, evoking the Trinitarian Void where Almat judges the judgmental until they are sufficiently punished enough to earn rebirth.  “Except it goes on for eternity, but its residents are unaware because time doesn’t pass.  So, they have no way of knowing if, or when, their sentence will end.”

 

“You’re right, that doesn’t sound so good.”

 

Mon-El tosses the black ceremonial gown on the bed, a plume of dust rising in response.  Morgon coughs his eyes watering as he inhales the allergens now unavoidable in the air.  He waves his hands all around hoping to clear the air so that he can breathe again.  “Doesn’t that bother you?” he asks.

 

“I’m okay,” Mon-El replies, already digging through the rest of the chest, looking for something of interest.  He drags out more gowns and in the bottom blankets that appear to be more of sentimental value or ceremonial value than they are of any practical use.  Pulling out the last of the items, he stares at the empty chest, disappointed, before reaching his hands in and running them along the sides and the bottom.

 

“What are you doing?” Morgon asks, curious.

 

“Looking for a secret compartment, like a false bottom.  A place where a Kryptonian princess might hide something.”

 

“Isn’t a false bottom or secret compartment a little obvious?” Morgon points out.

 

“Father says they’re very crafty…Kryptonians…and are not to be underestimated, but also that they’re arrogant, which is always their downfall.  It’s just like a Kryptonian to think they’ll never be found out.”  He sighs, disappointed to have found nothing.  Placing his arm along the rim of the open chest he drops his head against his forearm in frustration, the chest tipping slightly to one side from the force.

 

“Did you hear that?” Morgon asks, his tone rising with excitement.

 

“Hear what?”

 

Morgan leans over Mon-El and presses on the rim of the chest and, sure enough, he hears a clunk.  “That.”

 

“The floor is uneven,” Mon-El shrugs, looking around at the floor beneath his knees but seeing no evidence of his assertion, “that’s all.”

 

“It sounds like a tile is loose.”  He’s heard and seen many a loose tile (maybe even created a few) in the palace, but they are immediately fixed by servants once reported.  It makes no sense that a loose tile would go uncorrected in the chambers of the Crown Prince and his bride, unless they were just sloppy back then.  Today, Father would not stand for such imperfection.  Morgon grabs for the chest and demands, “Help me move it.”

 

Mon-El complies, finding Morgon’s sudden excitement contagious.  He jumps to his feet and grasps the other side of the chest and together they shift it away from its century long location.  Morgon taps his foot along each visible stone tile until he finds the one that tilts up when he applies pressure.  A grin splits his deceptively angelic face, a lock of white blond curls falling over one sparkling green eye. “Found it.”

 

The tile lifts easily, along with a colony of cobwebs.  There’s no predicting what lurks in the dark hole revealed by removing the loose tile, but Morgon doesn’t hesitate before diving his arm into the potentially vermin or venom-infested darkness.

 

Mon-El thinks, as Morgon pulls back that tile, that his brother’s eyes could not get brighter nor his smile bigger, but he is proved wrong a few moments later when Morgon’s arm retreats from the hiding space with a lockbox in hand.  Mon-El slides the tile back into place at Morgon sets it gently on the bed examining it from corner to corner.

 

“And you said we wouldn’t find any treasure,” the older boy teases, passing his palm over the lid.  The proximity of warm flesh to the lock releases a mechanism with a churning sound.  “Val-Or’s Peaks,” he curses.

 

“What is it?” Mon-El asks, surprised by his brother’s expletive.

 

“It’s a Code Locked,” he replies.  Uncharacteristically disheartened, Morgon drops back onto his haunches.  Code locks have been in use on Daxam for nearly three centuries and have never grown out of fashion due to their ironclad, impossible to duplicate security.

 

“Code Locked?  Whatever’s in there must be very important.  Level 3, do you think?” Mon-El asks.

 

“How should I know?”

 

“If it’s a Level 1, I might be able to crack it.”

 

“Or…this could be the moment you find out you’re adopted….”

 

“Wouldn’t that be nice?” Mon-El snarks.  It’s just too much to hope.

 

“Be my guest,” Morgon offers, moving out of the way.

 

Mon-El places his thumb into a sliding a mechanism on the top of the box, flinching when he feels a pin prick on the sensitive tip of the digit.  Hardly taking a moment to analyze the offering, the pad reader turns green and a computerized voice demands, “Code phrase.”  Mon-El turns his head to meet Morgon’s suddenly reinvigorated green eyes.  His older brother chews on his bottom lip, the air of the room thickening with anticipation.

 

Code locks come in three levels.  Level 1, the easiest, requires only a blood sample with familial DNA allowing any member of the family to open the lock.  Assuming the lockbox once belonged to Mon-El’s ancestor, though distant, the familial match was still strong enough to allow for unlocking.  His theory confirmed by the pinprick, the box revealed a second layer to the Code Lock.  Level 2 adds an additional tier of protection, requiring a vocal code word or phrase to meet the unlock requisite.  Finally, Level 3 requires an exact DNA match in addition to identical voiceprint; only the person setting the lock can open it.

 

After a moment’s hesitation, Mon-El takes a wild guess and provides the motto for House Gand.  “Into the Fray, Unflinching,” he speaks into the locks panel.  Instantly, they hear a snapping sound and the lid releases.

 

“You did it!  Let’s see what’s inside.”

 

Carefully, Mon-El lifts the lid, peering into the box as though expecting a squirming, slimy orlin to leap out, its needle-sharp teeth bared for deadly purpose.  Even Morgon looks at him as though he’s crazy.  The lid doesn’t even creak as he slowly draws it back, and Mon-El feels a disappointment sink in when he realizes there are no sparkling jewels or ancient coins winking back at him as they capture the light.

 

“Papers,” he says, without even bothering to rifle through the contents.  “It’s just papers.”

 

Real paper?” Morgon asks.  “When was the last time you saw real paper?”

 

“Father uses it for galactic treaties and trade agreements.  Not every government is paperless, you know.  And long ago, scouts would submit their reports in paper because it was more secure than entering them into the Daxcess.  I wonder if that’s what these are.” Mon-El breathes, his earlier disappointment transitioning to excitement.  “It makes sense.  They would need to be kept secure.  Things like troop movements, supply chain coordinates, even locations of ordnance factories; places the Protection Forces would send surge teams to.  For all we know…these could be old action reports from the Battles of Partek’s Moons.”

 

“Pretty sure these aren’t that old,” Morgon says, but fearless as usual he reaches into the box and grabs a handful of neatly folded papers.  Coat tailing his brother’s courage, Mon-El takes a few pages from the lockbox.  The parchment is thicker than he expected and less affected by the passage of time than one might assume after a century.  The lockbox must have been hermetically sealed to keep the papers in mint condition.

 

“You never know,” Mon-El ruminates, toying with the edges of the parchment, hesitant to end the anticipation, perhaps worried that the papers may contain information he’d rather not learn.

 

Morgon, not a reluctant bone in his body, has no such qualms.  Unfolding the letter, he scans the document, his alternately squinting and growing larger as they work their way down the page.’

 

“What is it?”

 

“Letters written by hand are hard to read.  I can only make out a few words,” Morgon complains.

 

Mon-El hold out his hand.  “Let me,” he suggests.  “Father makes me read handwritten documents all the time.  He says it’s important for me to be familiar with intergalactic treaties and trade agreements. He likes to test me on what I’ve learned; Rector Sem began teaching me the handwriting skill once I was old enough to hold a stylus.”

 

Happily, Morgon hands over the letter.  “You need the practice then anyway.”

 

The first letter is easy to read, it’s words looping neatly across the page and it doesn’t take long for Mon-El to decipher its contents.  “It’s a letter about….”

 

Morgon climbs on the bed and curls into a comfortable position, preparing to listen to his bond-brother read the letter aloud.  “About what?” he asks.

 

“Copulation,” Mon-El responds.  It isn’t what they came for, he knows.  A little disappointing, to be honest, since he’d been hoping for tales of adventure and not tales of personal entertainment.  Copulation is a dull subject, he feels, boring to hear about or to watch.  Father laughs when he makes his feelings known about it and promises him that he’ll have a much different view of the subject once he reaches the age of consent.  There’s always something dark and foreboding in Father’s promises and in his laughter.

 

“Go on then,” Morgon urges, and since his older brother doesn’t seem averse to hearing the letter’s contents, Mon-El gives in.

 

It’s not so bad, he realizes after finishing one letter and picking up another.  Trel’s missives are far more intense and graphic, perhaps owing to the differences in their cultures.  Gata’s communiques are sweet and heartfelt, only occasionally drifting into graphic prose.  Mon-El can’t deny that, if one were to judge by these letters alone, it would be easy to imagine that the prince and princess loved each other…deeply.  But this was only one side of the story, he reminds himself.  There’s no telling what secrets or lies the Kryptonian princess might have been hiding from her mate.

 

After the fourth love letter is complete.  Morgon hands him a large packet of folded pages.  “I found this at the bottom of the lock box.”

 

“This seems newer than the others,” Mon-El comments.  Unlike the love letters, which had clearly been lovingly read and reread, these pages resist a bit as he unfolds the packet, as if they’ve never been opened since first being folded and hidden away. 

 

It isn’t as easy as he expects once he sees the scrawl on the parchment.  Though obviously written in some haste, the ink smudged in spots, Mon-El finds the handwriting to be oddly familiar, despite having seen only a few samples of the skill in his lifetime.  Still, despite the difficulty, the script on the page forms into legible words and then to a cohesive language.

 

“Well?” Morgon urges.

 

Haltingly, Mon-El reads.  “’I…haven’t much time to write these words.  Even now…traitors search the…palace grounds for me…for us.’”

 

“Traitors?” Morgon interrupts, suddenly perking up.  “Are you certain?”

 

“Yes,” Mon-El replies, holding up the parchment and showing him the word.

 

“Well the guy knew how to start a story, I’ll give him that.  Go on.  What happens next?”

 

“’Even now the traitors search the palace grounds for us.  A stasis jewel over her heart keeps my beloved Gata clinging to life…for the time being, but I have no doubt that their first priority is to finish what Seflan Mos started—to…murder…my wife and unborn son.’”  Mon-El’s head snaps up as the implication of the words in the letter sink in.

 

“What is it?” Morgon asks, in a near frantic state.  “What happens next?”

 

“Do you know what this means?” Mon-El enquires, excitedly.  When Morgon responds with a shake of his head, Mon-El rereads the opening portion of the letter once more, to make certain he read it correctly, before answering his own question.  “It means the stories are all lies,” he says, eyes widening.  “Crowned Prince Trel Gand, Regent of Daxam, was struck from public record because he killed his wife and then killed himself.  That’s what the Daxcess says.  The official story is that he killed her because he believed the child she carried wasn’t his.  That she was carrying a pure blood, and that this was Krypton’s attempt to get a Kryptonian on the throne of Daxam.”

 

“That’s a stupid plan,” Morgon points out.

 

Mon-El doesn’t disagree.  “This letter, written in his own hand and hidden in his own Code Locked box seems to point out that the official record is a lie.”

 

“I could come up with a better plan in my sleep,” Morgon says, still stuck on the holes in Krypton’s purported scheme.  “I have come up with better plans in my sleep!  Remember that time that we—“

 

“You’re the one who wanted to sneak up here, do you want to hear this or not?”

 

“Right!” Morgon replies, shaking his head.  “Continue.”

 

“He must have written this not long after this Seflan Mos attacked the princess.  A stasis jewel only has six hours of power in it when fully charged.”  Focusing his eyes back on the page, he continues to read. “’I cannot allow this to happen.  I must save them at any cost.  Even if it means doing the unthinkable.  There’s nothing I won’t sacrifice to keep them alive – even if it means giving up the throne, or giving up on the dreams we made together.  Let them have Daxam and do with it what they will.  I care not,’ he writes,” Mon-El recites, lifting his eyes to see Morgon’s reaction.  “’The Trinitarians are welcome to it, so long as my heart lives.  I must bequeath the charge of saving Daxam to someone else.  Time is quickly running out and the day has proved there is only one whom I can trust.  Even now, she prepares the way for us, directing the searching zealots away from our hiding place.  I must tell this story now before the time runs out, so that someday, someone might know the truth and understand.  I thought all was well, and convinced my wife of that, but I was a fool.  I didn’t see the knife that was pointed at my back.’”

 

Mon-El continues reading the letter, four long pages worth as Trel spills out his handwritten tale in hastily scribbled words, and practically unbelievable phrases.  He paints a picture of palace intrigue gone too-long unchecked and trusted advisors turning against their sworn liege, some of it legible and some of it not.  But between the lines, the letter’s pages reveal a desolate, broken heart, as well as a hasty, reckless plan to stay alive, even if it means sacrificing everything, except that which is most important to the prince.

 

Mon-El stumbles over poorly written words, and some he doesn’t even recognize as he nears the end of the letter.  Rapt with attention, Morgon nearly forgets to breathe, all the while knowing that this is story is certain to have an unsatisfying ending.

 

“’It is with a slim thread of hope I pray that someday, somehow, this letter falls into the hands of someone who will know what to do with it, so that the truth might eventually be known.  My brother is merely a puppet in their show and knows nothing of their plans.  He is young and naive but there’s no darkness in his heart – he trusts easily and will follow where led.  If you are reading this letter, I beg you…find a way to save Krypton.  In doing so…you may very well save the soul of Daxam in the process.  Signed, His Royal Highness Trel Gand, Prince Regent of Daxam.’ That’s it,” Mon-El announces, folding the letter back into its original configuration. 

 

“What should we do now?” Morgon wonders.

 

“There’s nothing to do,” Mon-El answers.  “This letter was written a hundred years ago.  Krypton is fine…Daxam is fine, whatever he was afraid of…never happened.”

 

“I know that.  That’s not what I was talking about.”

 

“You mean about the other thing?” Mon-El asks, realizing some of the other more mysterious elements of the letter.  “I’m not even sure what he was writing about,” Mon-El confesses.

 

“We can find out,” Morgon suggests, his eyes already lighting with the beginnings of a plan.  “I feel like we should do something."

 

“Father will kill us,” Mon-El points out.

 

“Who says he has to know?’

 

“He knows,” Mon-El’s eyes light with a spark of fear. “He always knows.”

 

“We won’t always be kids,” Morgan promises, sagely.  “One day…the Royal Seal will be yours.”  Morgon takes the letter from Mon-El, placing it back into the lockbox, and closing the lid, listening for the barely audible whirring sound that precedes its re-locking process.  When the box is once more secure, he picks it by the handle.  “There’s much more to read and to learn.  We should take this with us…for safekeeping.”  Morgon is a boy of insatiable curiosity, and Mon-El knows that he’s claiming the box for more than simple safekeeping.  The determined look in his green eyes tells Mon-El his older brother plans to read every, last letter and journal in the there.

 

And Mon-El knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that whatever Morgon decides to do…he’s going to drag Mon-El along right beside him.

 

TBC

 

*****

 

Chapter Text

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching

Author: gldngr7

Rating: Explicit

Began: April 21, 2017

Chapters: 3/?

  

Forget all we said that night

No, it doesn't even matter

'Cause we both got split in two

If you could spare an hour or so

We'll go for lunch down by the river

We can really talk it through

And being here without you is like I'm waking up to

Only half a blue sky

Kinda there but not quite

I'm walking around with just one shoe

I'm half a heart without you

 

--“Half a Heart” –One Direction

 

 

 

Toiling tirelessly, a crew works to repair the damage done by Mon-El while in the throes of his meltdown.  Alex and Kara stop to watch the progress for a few moments on their way to the R&D lab.  Two work men use trowels to smooth the wet cement over the wall damaged when she and Mon-El flew into it.  Another pair carefully replace a glass panel on the balcony, destroyed by Mon-El’s unexpected heat vision.

 

“What made this happen?” she asks her sister.  “Winn tested him for abilities when he first woke up and there wasn’t a hint of flying or heat vision.”

 

“Our minds can do amazing things when it comes to protecting us from emotional trauma, Kara.  We can block out entire portions of our lives, as if they never existed.  But it’s more like surgery performed with a baseball bat than with a laser scalpel.  It’s crude and without finesse, and instead of only cutting away the unwanted memories it takes other parts with it as well.”

 

“What are you saying?”

 

“I’m saying that…he had these abilities all along.  I’m saying that his mind was repressing them.  And there’s every chance that he might continue to repress them.  That every moment he’s in his own mind, he may be convincing himself to disassociate from those trigger memories again.”

 

How easy it would be, Kara thinks, to go back to the way things were before it all fell apart.  To have another go at it, and this time to do it right.  But she knows, in the end, that would only serve her desires and not his needs.  She sighs with disappointment, her mind already predicting the answer to the question she’s about to ask.  “That wouldn’t be a good thing, would it?”

 

“If he has the chance to repress his memories again, there’s every likelihood he’ll bury them deep – so deep they could be lost forever.”

 

“Would that be so bad?”

 

“It depends,” Alex shrugs, her eyes filling with sadness.  “Which parts of him are you willing to lose?”

 

“I don’t understand,” Kara shakes her head.  She lies to herself, when deep down—way down—she senses the truth Alex regrets being forced to provide.

 

“Which parts can you live without?  His empathy?  His compassion?  His humor?  That part of him that looks at you so softly you want to curl up in his arms?”  When her sister shyly turns away from her, Alex places a hand on her Kara’s shoulder.  “Don’t think that I haven’t seen the looks that pass between you two.  A blind person could see the way you two feel about each other.  But Kara…people who disassociate are rarely the better for it.  The missing parts are usually the best parts.  The mind is funny that way.”

 

“I just don’t want him to relive his trauma?”

 

“Are you sure that’s it?” Alex asks.  “Or is it that a part of you is more comfortable believing that an egg-shaped pod gave birth to him at your feet?  That Mon-El didn’t exist until he came into your life?”

 

“That’s not…why would you say that?”

 

“Because three days ago you stood in the conference room and told us about Mon-El’s step-brother, and I could tell from the look on your face that you didn’t know any more about him than what you were telling us.”

 

“I just found out about him the night before?” Kara defends herself, her spine straightening, arms crossing at her chest.  She puffs up like a balloon filling with air.

 

“That’s precisely my point,” Alex nods.  “How long has he been here…how long have you been sleeping with him?  How many questions have you asked about his family?  About his life on Daxam?”

 

Kara opens her mouth to answer, but then chokes on the answer, her chest deflating in defeat.  Had she really never asked him those questions?  About his parents?  There had been brief moments, unintentional entrées he let slip, where she felt compelled to get more of his story.  But she never just…asked.  Like she didn’t want to know, didn’t want to challenge her own narrative of him.

 

She loves this man—loves his heart and his soul.  Loves the way his eyes soften when they meet hers, or the way he so openly gives her what she needs when they’re in each other’s arms.  But she doesn’t know his birthday, or the kinds of games he played as a child, his favorite subject in school, and how he managed to become a palace guard without any fight training.  She doesn’t know any of those things.

 

Because she never bothered to ask.

 

“I’m not saying these things to hurt you, Kara.  But to show you that…perhaps if you knew more about the man behind those soft eyes, about what made him who he is and what he’d been through, you might not be quite so prepared to bargain his memories away.  Traumatic or not.”

 

Kara tears up again, blindsided by the truth in sister’s words.  She can always count on Alex to tell her the truth, no matter how painful, no matter how much she wants to deny it when it’s offered.  And Alex wasn’t the only one to serve up truths on a silver platter recently.  A platter she’d tried to ignore.

 

“James was right,” she sighs, wiping at a rogue tear that escapes the well of her eye.  Kara leans forward, placing her forearms on the railing of the balcony, watching the workmen move back and forth below, like a goddess overseeing her inferiors as they toil away.  “I’m seeing it now more and more….” She drifts off thoughtfully as events replay in her mind like a montage of moments she wishes she could repeat, only better.  “Kryptonian arrogance,” she finishes.  “I didn’t want to think of Mon-El as a person who existed before landing on Earth.  I just wanted him to be the man that Rao made for me…sent to me… as if he had been formed from stardust and placed at my feet.”

 

Leaning on the balcony beside her sister, Alex bumps Kara’s shoulder with hers.  “Kara, I’m not saying that none of that is true…metaphorically speaking,” she cajoles, hoping to stop the faith from leaking out of her sister’s eyes along with those tears.  “I’m simply saying that maybe a few things happened between the stardust and Mon-El being placed at your feet.”

 

“Things that damaged him,” Kara concludes.

 

“So it would seem.”

 

Watching the workers for a few more minutes, Kara wonders if she’ll be able to put Mon-El back together as easily as the DEO is put back to rights.  What will she find in his eyes when he wakes at last?  Relief?  Distrust?  Disappointment?  Will he still be so emotionally giving, or will he hold himself back from her?

 

“They’re waiting for you in the lab,” Alex reminds her.

 

“Right,” Kara replies, absentmindedly, before shoving away from the balcony railing and heading towards the lab.

 

The moment she walks into the lab it’s like being swarmed by puppies who’ve been anxiously awaiting her return from a long vacation.  Winn Schott and Cisco Ramon could not possibly look different.  Winn, with his close-cropped, dirty-blonde hair with blue eyes, and the white skin of an Anglo who spends far too much of his days behind the screen of a computer and not nearly enough time outside catching rays.  In contrast, Cisco Ramon has the bronze skin and deep brown eyes that declare his Latino heritage, paired with messy, shoulder-length hair he’s constantly tucking behind one ear.

 

Despite their physical differences, their wide, toothy grins and the sparkling excitement in their eyes are so identical, they might as well be twins.

 

“Alex said you have something,” she says, offering them the conversation starter for which they are clearly waiting.  What follows is a mind-meld unlike anything Kara can claim to have seen.  Not even when she worked with Cisco and Felicity on Earth-1 during the Dominator invasion.

 

“We’ve made some discoveries,” Winn says, nearly coming out of his skin.

 

“Formed some theories,” Cisco adds.

 

“Start with what we know,” she insists, not sure she can handle to two of them postulating about theories.  Not without getting some solid ground under her feet first.

 

“Okay,” Cisco nods.  “His cells are generating an electrical field—“

 

“We knew that, he’s been siphoning—“

 

“No,” Cisco waves a finger, his eyes closed, a near-blissful smile on his face.  “Not from the siphoning.  His cells are generating the electrical field all on their own.”

 

“We all generate electrical fields,” Winn exposits.

 

“In small amounts, this electricity is what sends messages to and from our brains,” Cisco clarifies, his hands making inarticulate motions as though the short-hand sign language might help her understand.  It does not.

 

“Sparks our muscles to work,” Winn nods.

 

“Right,” Cisco’s head bobbles in a similar manner.  “But our boy is a whole different thing.  He’s a force of nature.”

 

“Literally,” Winn agrees.

 

“Literally,” his twin echoes, his eyebrows climbing almost to the top of his hairline.  “He’s a human capacitor, for lack of a better term, storing electricity and discharging in the form of superpowers.”

 

“Like I store yellow-sun radiation,” she assumes.

 

“Well yes and no,” Cisco shakes his head, tucking a long strip of his bangs that had fallen into his face, behind his ear.  “You don’t store yellow-sun radiation any more than a car stores gasoline.  If you did, you’d have a glut of it if you went too long without using your powers.”

 

“Your muscles would have gotten huge when you were kid, before you became Supergirl,” Winn provides her with imagery.

 

“Instead, your body simply takes what it needs to maintain an equilibrium.”

 

“Like you, Mon-El can absorb yellow-sun radiation and, like you, his body only takes what it needs to keep his body functioning at peak.  It strengthens and fuels his muscles – his strength and speed.  But the electrical field generated by his cells is what makes him different from you, Kara.”

 

“We come from the same solar system, what makes him so different?  Is it because Daxam was closer to the sun?”

 

Cisco and Winn share a look, already communicating non-verbally after only a few days of acquaintance.   In unison, they look back at her, their heads shaking as though on a synchronized swivel.  “The Well of Stars,” they answer.

 

“What about it?”

 

“He floated around in there for decades,” Winn supplies.

 

“Fermenting,” Cisco characterizes, his eyebrows a stark straight line across his forehead as the wheels inside his head turn.

 

“Fermenting?  Cisco?” she queries.

 

“Right!  So Mon-El was fermenting in The Well of Stars, floating in a soup of photons, hadrons, baryons and…we’re theorizing—“

 

“Gravitons,” Winn blurts, stealing Cisco’s thunder.

 

“—and too many other ‘ons’ to mention.  It sounds crazy, but I think when he flew he wasn’t actually flying.”

 

“He was flying, all right,” she insists, recalling with perfect clarity the shock she felt to see him hovering a foot above the ground.

 

Cisco shakes his head.  “He’s using the gravitons that now permeate his skin to generate an anti-gravitational field around his body.  If he can learn to control it, this ability should be virtually indistinguishable from flying.”

 

“Virtually,” she echoes, catching the one word that piqued her interest.

 

Winn grins.  “In theory, if he learns to expand that anti-gravitational field he could make others fly with him.  Guess who my new best friend is!”

 

“In theory,” Cisco reiterates.

 

“What about the rest of it?” she asks.  “The heat vision?”

 

“I just need to interrupt the electrical field around his eyes.”  Cisco scampers over to one of the metal-surfaced tables in the lab and retrieves a pair of glasses.  They are thicker and less fashionable than the ones she chose for Mon-El months ago.  “These glasses contain a micro electromagnetic pulse generator, which will dampen the electrical field whenever he’s wearing them.  It’s a sinewave pulse, so it shouldn’t affect any of his other abilities.  Easy-peasy.”  He hands the glasses to Kara, who accepts them gingerly as though they’re made of crystal.

 

“He says…like he didn’t just invent new science to make those,” Winn gushes, clearly enamored with his new friend.  “In less than a day.”

 

Examining the glasses carefully, both internally and externally, Kara notes that they are thicker than normal at the bridge of the nose and where the arms hover over the temples.  Inside, there are two tiny devices on either side, with wires threading though the upper frames to meet another device in the center.  “So when he wakes up, we can take him out of containment because he’ll have control over his heat vision?” she asks, allowing her excitement to peek through the waves of sadness that have engulfed her the last few days.

 

“Complete control,” Cisco confirms, “as long as he’s wearing those.”

 

Emotionally overwhelmed, Kara throws her arms around Cisco’s neck, hugging him with all of the gratitude and relief she feels inside.

 

“Okay,” Cisco chuckles at first, patting her back.  Over her shoulder he tosses a smile and a wink in Winn’s direction, but a second later, when her arms tighten like a vise around him, the novelty wears off.  “Too tight,” he wheezes, his entire body wincing.  “Don’t break the scientist.” 

 

“Sorry, sorry!” she grimaces, jumping away from him as though he’s made of lava.

 

“It’s no problem,” he groans, before taking a long draught of air.  “Just happy to help.”

 

“Modest,” Winn claims, leading Kara to believe that she’s going to be in for days of gushing after Cisco returns to Earth-1.  Possibly weeks of moping to follow.

 

“Any ideas on why he’s not waking up?” she asks, hoping she’s not pressing her luck.

 

“That’s Caitlin’s area of expertise,” Cisco answers.  “Hers and your mom’s.  But last I spoke with her she seemed pretty frustrated with their lack of progress.  I’m sorry to say.” 

 

“I’ve updated your mom and Dr. Snow on everything we learned and they’ve taken some steps to make sure there’s not a repeat performance of his Regan MacNeil impersonation--”

 

“Good movie,” Cisco injects, his head bobbing up and down as he reaches over to fist bump Winn.  “Classic.”

 

“Anyway, there will be no exploding of glass and diving for cover if…when…WHEN he wakes up,” Winn reassures.

 

“Thank you, Cisco,” Kara effuses, grabbing him by the hand, but careful not to crush it.  “For dropping everything to come here, you and Caitlin both.  For figuring out how to help him, once he wakes up.  You have no idea how much I appreciate everything that you’ve done, and I know that Mon-El will too.”

 

Suddenly overcome with shyness in the face of her profound gratitude, Cisco clears his throat and nods, but says nothing more.

 

“I should go check on him,” she decides, looking down at the glasses in her hands as though they are a symbol of newly bestowed hope.  “I’ve already been away from him for too long.

 

“Sure,” Winn nods.

 

She doesn’t even realize she’s turned on her super speed until she’s standing outside of his containment cell.  He looks different than the last time she was here a few hours ago.

 

“We’ve covered him in a blanket that’s lined with polypropylene,” her mother informs her.

 

“We’re hoping that the blanket will dampen the surplus electrical conductivity happening in his cells.   After the incident, Dr. Danvers attached him to electrical leads, allowing his body to absorb electricity to speed his healing process.  His skull was…severely damaged,” Caitlin winced, suddenly aware that her occasional struggles with bedside manner were coming to the fore.  Research medicine allowed her to keep a comfortable distance between the blunt force of her words and the patients that might be hurt by them.  “That sounded worse than it actually was,” she course-corrects.

 

“No,” Kara negates with a shake of her head, her fists clenching at her side.  “Everyone tries to downplay the damage I did, but I know my own strength.  I was hitting an invulnerable man hard enough to put his lights out, and then…all of the sudden…he wasn’t invulnerable anymore.  If he was human he’d be dead, and I would have killed him.”

 

“Honey,” Eliza Danvers says, placing a hand on her shoulder, “he isn’t human, and these are extraordinary circumstances.”

 

“Circumstances I caused.”

 

“It’s not that simple,” Eliza disagrees.  “One way or another this was going to happen.  The longer his psyche simmered the smaller the trigger would have needed to be to set him off, and the greater the resulting explosion.  If it hadn’t happened when it did…it could have been triggered by anything at any time afterwards, Kara. What if it had happened in the bar, or on the street?  What if you hadn’t been there to contain him?”

 

Her mother’s point of view made her feel marginally better, if only for the reason that her response to his meltdown saved untold people from injury or death, if it had occurred outside the insular bubble of the DEO.  

 

“And there’s also the possibility that any damage caused by a public meltdown could have set your alien acceptance movement back by years, if not decades,” Caitlin adds.  “On Earth-1 we have enough trouble with people accepting the existence of meta-humans.”

 

“It wasn’t the most ideal circumstances, Honey, but it could have been far, far worse.”  Eliza’s skill at applying a silver lining to the darkest of dark clouds has not waned in the years since Kara has grown from pre-teen to adult.

 

“Can I sit with him for a while?” she asks, wondering if the presence of the polypropylene blanket will prevent her from taking up her earlier sentry position.

 

“Of course,” Eliza says.  “Talk to him.  We never know what might reach him.”

 

Kara nods as her mother opens the hermetically sealed door of the containment chamber.  Gazing at the deceptively peaceful looking form of her unconscious boyfriend, Kara hears the hiss-pop-suction of the door sealing her in.  Eliza presses another button, this one connected to a speaker.

 

“I’ll be right here,” Eliza informs her, her voice tinny and over-amplified by the speakers.  Kara can’t help but feel that her adoptive mother is talking about more than just her physical presence.

 

“I know,” she acknowledges over her shoulder.  This room, like the other cells, is constructed of materials impenetrable by Supergirl.  Tested and Certified.  Without her mother to release her, Kara is just as trapped inside the quarantine as Mon-El.  She tries not to let the door sealing behind her sound like the heavy clank of a slamming jail cell, but is unsuccessful.  Each time she enters this room it takes her a moment to adjust to the feeling of being trapped.

 

Her chair sits at his bedside, just as she left it a few hours earlier.  Slightly off-kilter with one rounded foot missing from its front leg, the chair appears disheartened somehow, as though it lost hope while waiting for her return.  Kara eases into the chair, finding the slight clank-clank of the empty-footed leg striking the ground comforting somehow, as the chair rocks back and forth beneath the force of her added weight.

 

Burrowing her hand beneath the blanket weighted heavily with polypropylene, she finds his hand and pulls it out from beneath the blanket, kissing the back of it.  Kara wraps her thumb around his, grasping at his hand as through preparing to drag him back from a precipice she can’t see, much less comprehend.

 

“I told you I’d be back,” she whispers.  With her free hand she strokes his cheek, careful not to disturb the wired leads attached to temple.  They took the opportunity while he was vulnerable to place an IV port in the crook of his elbow.  Her mother and Dr. Snow had taken copious blood samples at the time, and hope to retrieve more if…when…he wakes up, for comparison.  But even without the IV port, Kara is still amazed by the number of machines they could attach to him that don’t involve pricking his skin.

 

A pair of dark goggles covers his eyes, not to block any beams of super-heated light that might emerge from his eyes when they open, but rather to measure his eye movements.  In concert with tiny leads pressed to several locations on his skull, his brain waves are constantly monitored as Dr. Snow and her mother analyze its data output for the slightest change.  Kara slips the goggles from his face and sets them aside.

 

There’s a brief kerfuffle outside of the quarantine cell as Caitlin attempts to determine why Mon-El’s eye movements ceased without warning or a typical transition.  Through the transparent barrier, Kara makes eye contact with the scientist, silently informing her that she needs time with her boyfriend, sans the goggles that make him look like someone she doesn’t know.

 

Also different is the beard that has grown into a bushy scruff in his sleep.  For a moment Kara considers using her laser vision to give him a shave, but finds that she likes growth of hair on his chin and upper lip.  It makes him seem…regal…somehow – like a sleeping Prince Charming, awaiting only her kiss to awaken him from this cursed slumber.

 

“I’m sorry I was gone for so long,” she tells him, squeezing his hand tightly with hers, hoping he’ll somehow sense her presence.  “Something’s happened that…I just…I can’t tell you this while you’re unconscious,” she decides.  “Because I’ll just have to do it again when you wake up and I don’t think I can go through that twice.”

 

His eyes glide back and forth beneath closed eyelids and she wonders what he’s seeing in his own mind to make his Rapid Eye Movement so frenetic.  “I’m here, baby,” she whispers, leaning closer to his ear.  “Can you hear me at all in there?  Or have you shut me out completely?”  The thought of it sends fear slicing through her like a lightning strike.  “Are you angry at me in there?”  A tear she never felt building slips down her cheek.  “I wouldn’t blame you one bit…not for a second.  I wasn’t…I wasn’t what you needed,” she confesses.  “I see that now.  But I need you to come out of this so I can tell you how sorry I am.  So I can try to be what you need.”

 

He doesn’t move, but for his eyes he doesn’t so much as twitch.  Whatever is going on inside of him…it’s not making its way to an external expression of any kind.  Rather than finding it soothing, she is disturbed by his stillness, the outward tranquility she senses…knows…is hiding something far more chaotic.  If only she could be certain, he is safe in there and not reliving his personal hell over and over.  She’d give anything to look inside of his mind and get a glimpse of what is holding him there.

 

“Are you back there again?” she wonders idly, stroking his face.  “Is that why you won’t wake up?”  Kara sighs deeply, sinking against the backrest of her molded chair, trying to combat the despair threatening to overwhelm her.  “Just the other day you told me you wouldn’t go back if you could, and now I can’t get you to leave it. Are you happy in there?” she asks, afraid he’ll open his eyes and answer in the affirmative.

 

“I know how hard it is,” she confesses, “to leave your home, even when you know it’s a dream.   Even when there’s as much to come back to as you’re leaving behind.  It’s the hardest thing in the world, baby.  Hard enough to break you.  I just wish I could help you find your way back, to remember that you have a life here, even if it’s not perfect sometimes.  I wish I could be there with you,” she whispers longingly, prayerfully.

 

It takes a moment for those words to sink into her own mind, as if she’d put them into the universe without expectation of fulfillment, only to have the possibility of fruition suddenly present itself.  Had there been a lightbulb over her head, it would have lit up with blinding whiteness and then promptly exploded with the force of it.

 

“That’s it!” she exclaims.  In the space of her next heartbeat, she’s banging on the chamber door demanding exit.  Eliza ask what’s wrong before the door has a chance to slide open with hiss-pop.  “I have an idea,” she explains, “but I need Alex.”

 

“She mentioned something about meeting with J’onn,” Eliza supplies.

 

“Thanks, Mom.  I’ll be back.” 

 

Less than minute later, she’s bursting into the conference room, where J’onn and Alex have their heads huddled at one end of the long table.  “Kara, did something happen?”   Alex jumps from the table, her eyes widening with concern.

 

“Black Mercy,” Kara replies.

 

“Come again?” J’onn demands, his hands finding his hips.

 

“The Virtual Reality helmet that Maxwell Lord retrofitted so that you could go into my Black Mercy dreams, do we still have it?”

 

“Of course,” Alex shrugs, “somewhere buried in storage.  But why would you…you want to go into his head!”  Taking less than a second to catch up with her sister.

 

“It will work, won’t it?” Kara interrogates.  “You said yourself, it’s like he’s still awake, but his body doesn’t know it.  That’s how it was with me when I was in the grip of the Black Mercy, right?”

 

“Your brain waves were slightly different,” Alex side-eyes J’onn as though seeking assistance.

 

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” J’onn wonders, rather more ineffectually than Alex might have preferred.

 

“Can you fix the device so that it will work?” Kara’s skin flushes with desperation.  She’s had it with sitting at his bedside and feeling helpless, she needs to do something.

 

Alex recognizes the desperation and frustration written across her sister’s face and makes the decision to do whatever it takes to help her, even if it’s dangerous.  Determining that perhaps…she needs to have a little faith, too.  “I’ll talk to Winn, maybe if we put our heads together—“

 

“Thank you, Alex,” Kara breathes, throwing her arms around her sister before she can even finish.  “And I’m sure Cisco can help too.  He and Winn are getting along like a house on fire.”

 

“I will do this on one condition,” Alex hedges, her brown eyes boring resolutely into Kara’s blue.

 

“Anything,” Kara agrees, a genuine smile crossing her face for the first time in days.

 

“Take a shower,” Alex says, “and get something to eat.  Maybe sit under the sun lamp for a while.”

 

“But—“

 

“You’re running on fumes, Kara.  Everyone can see it.  You have circles under your eyes and I have never seen that before!  If you used this device, you will need to be at full strength.  There’s no predicting how long you’ll be in there and you won’t be able to eat, and the radiation from the yellow sun lamp wreaks havoc on the helmet’s signal, so you won’t be able to refuel that way.”

 

“So I’ll need to top up,” Kara gathers with a nod.

 

“Exactly.”

 

“Fine,” she agrees.  “Get started on the helmet, and I’ll grab a few pizzas.  Tinkering always makes Winn hungry.”

 

“I’ll have the usual,” Alex replies, one side of her mouth lifting up in a half smile.

 

“Of course.”

 

An hour later Kara returns to the DEO with a dozen pizzas, three of which she eats while watching Winn and Cisco huddle over the device, one taking notes while the other makes calculations.

 

Somewhere in her mind, she imagined a few quick turns of a screwdriver, a handful of spliced wires and she’d be off on a new adventure in the Innerspace of Mon-El’s dreams but, as it turned out, it wasn’t quite that easy to retro-fit the already retro-fitted helmets.  Winn and Cisco labored and debated for days over the numbers and the dangers, and all the pitfalls that could come if they got it wrong.  Cisco was even forced to travel back to Earth-2 for a day to consult with someone called Harry, and then to Earth-1 for another day to build a specialized piece of equipment to merge with the helmet that would help translate her brainwaves to match Mon-El’s.

 

Finally, after four days of anxious waiting on Kara’s part, Winn makes the last adjustments to the helmet, a tiny screw driver in one hand, and a folded slice of Meat Lover’s in the other.  Cisco dexterously employs both hands to splice two new wires into the bright bundle of multi-colored spaghetti already there.  After twisted a bit of copper wiring together he looks up at Winn and nods, communicating his completion non-verbally.  Winn twists one last screw and echoes Cisco’s nod.

 

“Zatsabouit,” Winn garbles, half-chewed pizza pocketed into the side of his cheek like an underachieving chipmunk.

 

Kara polishes off another slice of Hawaiian while sitting atop a nearby lab table, her feet dangling two feet from the ground.  “Huh?’ she asks, her eyebrows crinkling in confusion.

 

Winn chews at his mouthful of pizza, Winn waves his tiny screwdriver in Kara’s direction.  But Cisco interrupts before Winn can swallow his food.  “He said…that’s about it.”

 

“It’s done?” she queries, lighting up with excitement as she hops down from the table.

 

“Well…the helmet is done,” Cisco shrugs with one shoulder. 

 

“I still have to rewrite the software,” Winn finishes.

 

“What are you talking about?  What’s wrong with the software?”

 

“It’s lacking something important,” Alex supplies.  “Winn and I talked about it while you were sitting with Mon-El.  He wasn’t here the last time this was used.”

 

“Because I was kicked out!” he interjects, before explaining to Cisco in an aside, “I didn’t work here then.”

 

“He’s going to write software that includes a back door—“ Alex clarifies.

 

“It will be a door—“ Cisco nods.

 

“Literally,” Winn finishes.

 

“When I was in your head, Kara, there was no safety net.  It was either stay in there with you until you were convinced it was fake or be forcibly pulled out by J’onn, which could have had damaging consequences to my brain, since the helmet had been untested.  And this isn’t like Black Mercy, Kara, where you defeat its deceit and it detaches and crawls away.  You’ll be up against Mon-El’s mind and he might be harder to convince.  Worst case scenario, there’s also the possibility that he’s lucid in there and just doesn’t know how to wake up.  This way you’ll have a way out if you need it.  For both of you.”

 

“Shouldn’t take too long,” Cisco adds in a blasé manner, as though his confidence in Winn is a forgone conclusion.  Alex nods at him, as though thanking him for adding his reassurances.

 

“You’ll have enough time for a shower.”  Alex instructs, tossing a glance over her shoulder at the guys as she walks Kara from the room.  “You’ll need to wear a hospital gown so that we can attach leads to your body, so we can monitor your vitals.  I’ve left one in the locker room for you, along with your pills.”

 

“Pills?” Kara asks, and then, before Alex can explain, “Oh!”

 

“You should go ahead and start…assuming my calculations are correct.  No time like the present.”

 

Kara nods her head, confirming that her sister knows her clockwork-like cycle just as well as she does.  Her forehead crinkles with confusion, before asking, “But doesn’t it have to be taken every day?  What if I’m under longer than that?  Maybe I should wait until after....”

 

“Take the pill,” Alex urges, squeezing her sister’s bicep, “and call it a leap of faith.”

 

Kara licks her lips, her throat tightening as her eyes tears up.  She’s lost track of how many tears have been spilled since The Meltdown.  All she wants is the man she loves back in her arms, and as the days have passed, her faith has dwindled to the smallest of embers.  “I will,” she whispers.

 

“Then two hours under the sun lamp,” Alex demands.  “Or…you can always catch some rays above the stratosphere.  Your choice.”

 

She chooses the latter, to no one’s surprise.  Even at her worst, flying always improves her bleakest outlook, helps her think when she has particularly difficult problem or solve, or soothes her when she’s sad.  At the moment, though, Kara finds herself afflicted by all three.

 

It’s always been a solitary activity for her, flying above the clouds.  In the past, events have necessitated her flying with J’onn or with Kal in the service of her city of the planet.  Coming up here, however, where even the clouds are far below her, like white smudges on a blue and green canvas, is always a lonely, silent endeavor, where nothing disturbs her but the torturous intensity of her own thoughts.  Sometimes, it’s what she wants – the solitude – to take a break from the mantle of it all, if only for a few moments.  And sometimes she comes to listen for those cries in the night, the ever-present racing of frightened heartbeats, and desperate pleas for mercy – mercy she is often the only one to provide.

 

If Cisco is right, maybe she doesn’t have to be alone up here anymore.  Perhaps if…when…he learns to fly, Mon-El will join her here, and he can be her partner, her true mate, in yet another way.  But first, she must help him find the way out of whatever labyrinth he’s managed to build for himself in that unfathomably resilient mind of his.  Having had enough of floating, soaking up radiation, and feeling better than she has in three days, Kara shifts her direction back to the DEO, miles below, and switches on her speed.

 

“It’s time to get my boyfriend back,” she says aloud, though her sonic boom swallows the sound of it.

 

 

*****

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

You've done nothing to make me love you less

    So come back when you can

        You left your home

            You're so far from

Everything you know

     Your big dream is

         Crashing down and out your door

              Wake up and dream once more

 

--Come Back When You Can  - Barcelona

 

 

Chapter 4/?

 

“The mind is a very powerful thing, which is why this is dangerous, Kara,” her sister explains.

 

“We’ve gone over the risks,” Kara assures her in a rushed tone.  Feeling exposed wearing nothing more than a thin hospital gown in a quarantine area filled with people here to observe and protect.  She’s never felt less like Supergirl.  Anxious to get this underway, Kara hops up onto the edge of the bed that’s been moved into the room and squeezed next to Mon-El’s.

 

“But you don’t…not really,” Alex continues.  “You don’t understand how vulnerable you’ll be in there.  You might not have your powers, and just because it’s all in your head doesn’t mean you can’t be hurt.  Take it from me…a kick in the gut still feels like a kick in the gut.  You could be Kara Danvers in there, and not Kara Zor-El.  Do you understand?  Just don’t do anything foolish.  Don’t try to be a hero.”  Reacting to Kara’s incredulous expression, Alex smirks, trying to find the humor despite her fear, “I know that’s asking the impossible – just try to stay safe.”

 

“I love him…and I’m partially responsible for his condition,” she reminds her sister.  “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get him back.  It’s no less than what you would do.”

 

Lifting the interface helmet, careful not to tangle the spaghetti wiring, Alex wedges it onto Kara’s head, fitting it firmly so that the connector leads attach to the skin at her temples and along her hairline.  A dark black visor covers Kara’s eyes blacking out her vision, so that her sister must guide her into a safe position on the bed beside Mon-El’s.

 

“Okay?” Alex asks.

 

Wriggling a little until she finds a comfortable position, she gives her sister a thumbs-up to avoid the movement of a head nod.  “Okay,” she replies softly.

 

Continuing preparations, Alex’s hands slide blindly under the thin crepe of Kara’s gown, attaching the lead wires from the EKG monitor to the round pads already attached to her chest.   They will be able to monitor her heart rate while she’s interfacing, as well as her brain with Cisco and Winn’s latest adjustments.

 

“Kara, I’ve programmed an exit into the interface,” Winn leans in close, placing a hand on her shoulder.  “It should never be far away from where you are when you’re ready, and I hope I’ve made it obvious enough.  The interface should take you directly to him, but after that it will be like playing an open world game, limited only by his imagination and memory.”

 

“Thanks, Winn,” Kara whispers.

 

“Look…just tell him he’s got friends out here too,” Winn works up the courage to confess.

 

“Tell him the same goes for me,” J’onn adds.

 

“We don’t know how long this will take,” Alex interjects, “so we’re going to set up a schedule so that someone will be here the entire time in case you need to be—“

 

“I won’t,” Kara insists.  “I won’t need to be pulled out and don’t you dare let them do it.  I’m not coming back without him.  I can’t.”

 

“Kara,” Alex sighs.

 

“No.”  She bites down hard on her lip and sets her chin firmly.

 

“Stubborn like her sister,” J’onn explains to group, as if they were new to Kara’s headstrong tendencies.

 

“That’s a Danvers trait, by the way,” Eliza added.  Kara is comforted by the sound of her mother’s voice coming nearby from the foot of the bed.

 

“House of El, too,” Kara chuckles, her teeth chattering nervously.

 

“Nature and nurture,” Alex replies, echoing her sister’s chuckle.  “He doesn’t stand a chance.”

 

“I just hope he knows that,” Kara mutters.

 

From the darkness, she hears Cisco’s voice, and this time there’s a serious note to it, rather than the confident bluster of a genius inventing new science and having a blast doing it.  “Ready to go down the rabbit hole, Alice?”

 

“Ready,” she replies.

 

“This might feel a little odd,” Kara hears a flip switching and suddenly the interface hums to life, vibrating around her temples and scalp.  Her hair raises from the follicles with a bright tingle and she curls her fingers into a fist, resisting the urge to scratch her head.

 

Her super hearing detects the sound of a dial cranking notch by notch, the whiny hum of the inner workings of the helmet rising in pitch with each click, and then a tiny pinprick of light appears in the distance of the fathomless darkness.  The rabbit hole.  Except that it’s not at all like falling down a rabbit hole, it’s more like the rabbit hole has teeth and it charges at her, intent on gobbling her down in a single bite.  Keeping Mon-El in mind, she leans into it, allowing the bright light of the rabbit hole to barrel toward her, growing larger and larger, filling the field of her vision until it circles around her taking shape and form.  There’s practically an audible popping noise, as if she’s just apparated into Mon-El’s mind (which, in a way…she kind of did).

 

Clasping her hands together, she’s surprised to discover they feel real, tangible, no different than the outside world.  She’s dressed in white, similar to the outfit she wore in her pod as she was jettisoned from Krypton.  Long white sleeves that come down far enough to touch the backs of her hands, the blouse flaring out at the hemline, on her legs are matching skin-tight trousers, and on her feet a pair of white slippers that remind her of taking ballet class.  She’d been fourteen and discovering that her Kryptonian heritage didn’t exempt her from the gangly awkwardness of girlhood puberty.  Her foray into the finer of arts had not lasted long.  It had been, as Kara later discovered, just another attempt by Eliza to help her alien foster daughter find her place in this new world.

 

Circling around slowly, Kara’s eyes take it all in; the deep blood red of the terracotta-like floor, walls draped in ancient tapestries, and a ceiling that seems slightly askew in a way she doesn’t understand.  No one’s been here in decades, as far as she can tell, especially if the dust on the furniture is any indication.

 

Completing a single revolution, she comes back around to the start, where something catches her eye.  Two young boys, huddled closely together, their eyes wide as saucers, gazes glued to her, they stand a few feet away from her as though they witnessed her sudden appearance.  Which they probably did.

 

“Hello,” she greets softly, holding out her hands in a gesture meant to be non-threatening.  “Don’t be frightened.”  Taking a moment to study the paralyzed youths, she recognizes the smaller one almost immediately as the target of her search.  Her own crystal blue eyes widen with this sudden revelation when they meet his heartbreakingly familiar grays.  Never in a million years might she have considered that he would be a child when she arrived.  “Mon-El,” she gasps, audibly.

 

Impossibly, the boys’ eyes widen further, their jaws dropping open.  Heads turning, as if on a swivel, they make eye contact, their eyes holding while silent communication passes between them.  Their heads turn back toward her and, simultaneously, their jaws drop open, identical screams emitting from their mouths.

 

“Ahhhhhhhhh!  Remnant!” they scream together.

 

Taking off in a run, both boys split between her, each heading separately for the door in a mad scramble to escape.   “No wait!” she cries.  “I just want to talk…to you.”  However, by the time she finishes, they are gone.  Looking around at the now empty room, she sighs, defeated.  “Well…that’s just great!”

 

So far, this is not going according to plan.  Mon-El wasn’t supposed to be a child when she was dropped right smack dab in the middle of his psyche—or at least it hadn’t been a consideration of hers when she’d been pushing Winn to retrofit the neural interface.

 

Regardless of what she’d thought at the time, she must work with what she has in the here and now, and that, whether she likes it or not, is a Mon-El in child-form.  “Perhaps I can reach him,” she says aloud.  “If I can get him to remember me, then maybe the adult Mon-El will return.”  She wonders what might happen to Mon-El on the outside it it’s his child-like version that decides to take the escape hatch.  Could the consequences be catastrophic?

 

Not willing to take that chance, Kara resolves to reach through Mon-El’s pre-pubescent persona and find the man she knows is in there somewhere, and draw him out.  All she needs to do is to think like a kid and kids like…adventure. Anything that will get them into trouble.

 

Kara follows them out of the room, searching the corridor but finding it, not only disturbingly desolate, but also as neglected and pathetic as the room from whence she had come.  Despite its desolation and state of disrepair, it is clear her surroundings were once rich and sumptuous, to a degree of decadence beyond even the wealthiest of Daxamite families.  All but one.

 

“Is this the palace?” she asks the empty hallway.  Searching for some answer to her current mystery, she casts about for some evidence.  It takes her less than a minute to find a portrait on the wall, its protective cover ravaged by suspiciously-sized fingerprints.  Kara didn’t need a fingerprint kit to guess the owners of these particular set of grubby fingers.

 

Peeling back to the gray, shimmery cover, she’s confronted with a pair of sparkling eyes that practically mirror her own, in a way she finds breathtaking.  The portrait’s subject, sitting regally in a high-backed throne, smiles brightly, suppressing not a single iota of her happiness as her hand rests on the small bulge of her belly.  A bitter taste of jealously fills the back of her throat as Kara’s heart clenches in her chest, her own hand drawn her abdomen.  Though there’s nothing there to celebrate, nor to protect.

 

Curiosity and envy overwhelming her, she seeks the portrait’s nameplate.  “Her Royal Highness, Princess Gata.  Wife to Prince Trel, House of Gand,” she reads.  She realizes two things when she reads that plate.  “I am in the palace,” she verbalizes the first conclusion, based on the evidence in front of her. 

 

The second realization is that it’s possible the neural interface dropped her into the middle of a childhood memory, rather than some fantasy-oriented mental construct designed to insulate him from things his conscious mind didn’t wish to recall.  In order for his mind to replicate it in such detail, Mon-El must have seen this portrait as a child.  She finds it telling that his subconscious has taken to him to what is possibly the only thing on Daxam that ties them together, even if only subconsciously.  What other reason could there be for him to mentally revisit the portrait of a Kryptonian woman they had spoken about only a handful of days ago?

 

Perhaps his conscious mind is keeping him lost in here, but his subconscious is leaving him breadcrumbs to show him the way home.  All she needs to do, she hopes, is get him to remember that there’s something to come home to.

 

Following the carpet runner down the corridor, she finds a stairwell that heads but one direction, down.  Based on her knowledge of Daxam architecture, she surmises that they are on the top floor of the Grand Palace of Daxam, which, it is common knowledge, houses the quarters of the Supreme Regent.  It offers the best views of the Capitol City, from all sides of the pyramid, where the monarch can watch over their people like a god from top of Val-Or.  However, if this is the quarters of the Daxam’s king, then why does it seem so…abandoned?  Why does not the current monarch, King Vir Gand—if memory serves—occupy it?

 

All questions for later, she determines with a shake of her head.

 

If this is the palace, then her logic concludes that the boy Mon-El accompanies must be the prince.  Perhaps it was custom for bodyguards and princes to grow up together, to form a stronger bond between them.  It is brilliant in a way, she grimaces at the thought, not unlike overfeeding a lamb in preparation for its slaughter.

 

Part of her wants to rush down the stairs, grab him, and take him away from this place; spirit him away from Daxam, where he can grow up learning the difference between right and wrong.  But she can’t change his past, all she can do is help him process what happened long ago.  And even if changing the past were an item on the menu, the results were unpredictable, and usually untenable for the person left to remember both timelines.  A lesson, with its ongoing fallout, her friend Barry Allen is still painfully dealing with back on Earth-1.

 

Not surprisingly, she passes no one on the stairs, indicating that the top floor of the palace is not an oft-visited destination.  Bravely, she lingers a bit on the next floor down, observing the hustle and bustle of the servants moving from room to room, cleaning, repairing and taking little notice of the strange woman in white in their midst. 

 

She, on the other hand, soaks in what she sees.  Their impeccably tidy uniforms with asymmetrical hemlines, falling lower on one side of their hips than the other.  Regardless of gender, all of the servants wear matching trousers of linen-like material; though the men’s pants are cuffed at the bottom while the women’s gently flare out.  Details are so rich in Mon-El subconscious that she can even hear the sound of the material whishing as a servant races by her.

 

The servant glances up, sees her, but somehow—Kara can tell—doesn’t see her.  She’s reminded suddenly of a conversation she had with Winn a few weeks ago.  It was a conversation about his favorite video game, so she was only half-paying attention while unobtrusively trying to form an exit strategy, but the gist of it had been that invariably the most compelling characters end up being NPCs (he calls them) or Non-Playable Characters.  You can interact with them, even have conversations, but you can’t ‘play’ them and they frequently are not integral to the game’s main mission.  Kara wonders if the servants aren’t like NPCs, just around to provide scenery and to enrich the detail of the world in which his subconscious is trapping him.

 

A whisper of excited voices catches her attention.

 

“I dare you,” one voice challenges.

 

“You’re the one who ran first,” the other, higher voice answers.  She doesn’t know how, maybe it’s instinct or maybe it’s love, but she knows that’s him.

 

“Did not!” the older boy defends.  He’s clearly offended, perhaps by the disparagement to his ego, or perhaps simply because he’s being challenged by his servant.  “You’re the one who screamed like a girl.”

 

“The Lurian Defense Corps screams as part of their battle cry and they’re all girls,” he points out the flaw in the young prince’s logic.  “So I’ll take that as a compliment,” he finishes smugly.  Heart swelling to twice its size, she can’t stop the grin that spreads across her face.

 

Apparently, the young blonde prince has no ammunition with which to lob a return volley and therefore can only reply with a hearty, “Harrumph!”  Kara can practically see him crossing his arms in frustrated defeat.

 

Following the direction of their voices, she peers over the stair railing and sees two pairs of eyes of staring back up at her from the level below.  They must have run away and then, having realized they weren’t being chased by a ghostly figure, turned back, daring each other to confront the mysterious woman in white who appeared from nowhere.  They stand as though paralyzed again, their heads tilted back, their jaws open as though unhinged.  Choosing not to waste the opportunity presented to her, she races down the steps hoping to gain on them before they can take off once more.

 

Making it to the landing halfway to the next floor, Kara then vaults over the stair rail, surprised by how heavy and unwieldy her body feels as she goes over.  Her feet spread between two different steps when she lands, her sweaty palm (sweaty?) loses its grip on the rail, leaving her no way to keep her momentum from sending her ass over tea kettle down the stairs.  She hasn’t far to tumble, however, with two ten-year-old boys to cushion her fall at the bottom of the stairs.

 

Well…that’s one way to catch them.

 

Hardly bothering to assess injuries to her own body (Alex warned her it would be possible), Kara scrambles to make sure Mon-El is all right.  “Are you okay?” she frets, as the boys work to gain their feet once more.  Ostensibly unfazed by the fall and the fact that a mysterious woman twice his size landed on top of him, he scrambles away from her.  Even as she clambers to her knees, grabbing at his arm to keep him from escaping while she recovers.  Running a hand over his head looking for bumps or gashes, she quizzes, “Did you hit your head?”  Finding no obvious protuberances, she holds up two fingers, “How many fingers?”

 

His bond-brother recovers from the fall and rushes to his rescue, as usual.  Boldly, showing not an ounce of fear, Morgon grabs him by the shoulder and pulls him away from the strange woman’s reach, before placing his body between the two.  His green eyes, squint like a snake preparing to strike, bore into her wide blue ones, “You do not touch the prince without his permission,” Morgon announces in a voice that carries far more authority than his age might suggest.

 

Part of Mon-El cringes inside at Morgon’s admission.  Reminders that he is the Prince of Daxam usually fill him with a sense of pride, but for reasons he doesn’t understand, this time it does not.  For reasons he can’t justify, he awaits her reaction to this news, studiously observing the expressions on her face.  She seems so easy to read, not at all secretive, or skilled in the art of dissembling.  Confused by how he knows this truth, Mon-El is certain her reaction will be honest and undistorted.

 

Unaware that her reaction is being carefully examined by curious and puzzled slate-gray eyes, she attempts to explain.  “I only wanted to check—wait....” her breath catches in her chest, the air around them stilling like the eerie calm before a storm.  “What did you say?” she asks, her voice shockingly dull and lifeless to her own ears.

 

Struck by the crinkle between her eyebrows, like a flash of something intimately familiar, Mon-El struggles for recognition – to remember where he’s seen this woman before.  As he surely must have. Filling with a sense of dread unlike any he’s felt in his young life, even during those times when he must face his father’s wrath, Mon-El steps behind Morgon’s protective bulk.

 

Morgon performs his signature eye roll, his lips twisting smugly.  “I said…you do not touch the prince without his permission.”  Turning his head to speak to Mon-El, who has managed to wedge himself behind his protector, his earlier courage having evaporated.  “See?” Morgan crows, his tone heavy with the note of announcement.  “I told you she was no remnant.”

 

I told you,” Mon-El insists, finding a shred of bravery.  The pair proceed to argue their points back and forth, their own egos allowing them to forget her presence for a moment.

 

Shaken by the boy’s revelation of Mon-El’s true identity, Kara struggles to normalize her breathing.  Prince?  She can’t take her eyes off him; so young and scrawny, his beautiful face is pale, but his cheeks are a bright pink from exertion or embarrassment, she doesn’t know which.  Unburdened by crow’s feet, his warm gray eyes are as round as silver medallions.

 

He is the Prince of Daxam?  Not the bodyguard…but the prince.  Rolling the thought over and over in her mind, she has extraordinary difficulty grasping hold of it, like a dropped paper caught on a breeze, that’s whisked out of reach just as she lunges for it.  “You’re the prince,” she says aloud, finally seizing that floating paper like it’s making plans to escape.  “You’re the Prince of Daxam,” she repeats, her voice gathering in strength.

 

A lump rising in her throat makes it difficult to swallow as tears gather in her eyes.  Why hadn’t he told her?  Moments flash before her mind like a montage video of jibes she’d taken at the Crown Prince of Daxam, ones she’s made offhand and the others thrown straight in Mon-El’s face. 

 

Truthfully, she doesn’t know what to feel, can’t choose between the anger that wells at learning he hadn’t trusted her enough to reveal his secret, and heartbroken because she knows why he hadn’t.  Right from the beginning, in the earliest days of their acquaintance, before an attraction even had a chance to grow between them, she and her team at the DEO had backed him into a corner and put him on the defensive. 

 

After an attempt on the life of President Marsdin, they had assumed that he, a John Doe at the time, had crash landed on Earth, feigned a coma until just the right time, and then managed to escape the DEO for the express purposes of killing a well-protected head of state.   It is ridiculous to even contemplate in retrospect, but she’d been so blinded by her prejudice toward Daxam that logic hadn’t been high on her priority list.  Was it any wonder he pretended to be someone he wasn’t?  He must have put those hours spent in his cell to good use inventing his backstory.  Likely keeping it just close enough to the truth to serve his purpose.

 

It was pretty savvy of him, truth be told.  Not sure he could trust the people who just accused him, quite vigorously, of attempting to assassinate the president, he made the smart decision to hold back his true identity.  Discovering he was a prince could have put him in an even more tenuous situation, after all.  What if the DEO decided to use him against his will?  Hold him hostage? Torture him for intelligence on Daxam’s military preparedness?  Hold him for ransom?

 

Undoubtedly, these are things about which princes are taught to be concerned.  He didn’t, after all, know them from Adam and so he did what any savvy, principle target would have done…downplayed his own importance until he could better ascertain his situation and the people with whom he’d been saddled.  It must not have helped their case, hers in particular, when she immediately began expressing her negative views on Daxam and its royal family, after ostensibly calling a truce with him.

 

If she correctly recalls, the Prince of Daxam had been the Frat boy of the universe’ and the ‘worst of the worst’.  Making her disdain for him perfectly clear, what choice had he had back then, but to crawl into his shell like a turtle and to throw himself into the notion that he was someone else?

 

“So…this is who you were,” she says, interrupting their ongoing squabble.  When their heads turn back to her, she catches a flash of recognition in the steel of his gray eyes.  He’s in there, she sees.  Her Mon-El, though buried deep, is not lost to her forever.

 

As carefully as he studies her reaction to the discovery of his identity, still he dreads seeing the emotions that cross her face.  She cycles quickly from disbelief to acceptance, and myriad milestones between, as quickly as the varied colors of strobe lights strike the exultant faces of the concubines at one of his father’s parties.  The expression on her face lands squarely on resignation, a swirl of acceptance and disappointment in equal measure.  Mon-El’s heart tumbles into the pit of his gut, which then feels like it’s taken a punch that’s landed solidly in its center.  Not at all like the punches that Morgon pulls when they scuffle together.

 

He doesn’t know what reaction he wished for from this strangely familiar woman, but it is somehow more than he expected, but less than he’d hoped.  Looking around, Mon-El takes in his surroundings; the richness of the deep green carpet runner, dyed that uncommon color using the petals of the rare and endangered dophelim flower.   Ancient tapestries on the wall telling the story of his families rise to power, painstakingly woven centuries ago and maintained with pride.  Beneath his feet are tiles made from the blood red clay of Daxam’s quarries, swirled with the rare dust of gold found in the veins of the caves carved into the mountains of Gylar’s Peak.

 

This is who is he is, whether this woman with her striking blue eyes likes it or not.  This is the place of his birth; this is what made him and no matter how badly much of it shames him.  He is struck by a sudden sense of weariness, as if he had been concealing this truth for a long time, and now finds he can no longer bear the weight of hiding it.

 

The warmth in his gray eyes chills and the openness, that part of him that wedged its way into her heart, shuts down.  His jaw tightens, an odd action to see on the face of a child, and his arms cross defiantly.  “That’s right,” he replies, the challenge in his voice clear, “This is who I am.  What have you to say about that?”

 

“She shouldn’t be saying anything,” Morgon interjects.  Then he points an accusatory finger at her, “Look!”

 

Glancing down, in the direction of the blond boy’s pointed finger, she sees what they’re just now noticing.  Her hand raises to her chest in a protective motion.  When she looks back up, the situation has changed drastically.  Instead of two young boys standing before, their false bravado on display, there are now two young men, around fifteen years of age by her estimation.  Instead of childhood bluster, their teenage arrogance is a palpable presence.

 

“Kryptonian,” the blonde teenager announces in a voice now deepened from puberty.  In Kara’s experience, there’s a thin line between excitement and bloodlust and from the gleam in his eyes, she is unable to discern whether he’s angry or awed.  Mon-El’s expression, on the other hand, is clearly one of puzzlement.  Unlike his childhood persona, which bore just a hint of his adult countenance, she can now see her mate in the face before her, though still painfully, artlessly young. 

 

No longer is he a boy, but neither is he a man if the deep hollows of his cheeks, still emerging jaw and overly prominent bulge of his Adam’s apple are any indication.  Not to mention the rash of acne at his hairline that almost coaxes a smile to her face.  He looks wiry, without any of the broad musculature with which she is familiar—with which she is intimate.

 

“House of El,” Mon-El concurs, his voice also deepened, though still slightly unsure when compared to his bond-brother’s.  “She must be a relative of the Emissary,” he says, even though a twisting in his gut tells him that’s not right.  His mind reaches for a remembrance of her somewhere he might have caught sight of her, a gathering of state or an official function of the king’s, but instead all he sees is a flash of a smile, a laugh…a kiss?  As it always does at the most inconvenient times, his body reacts to the images.

 

It shouldn’t surprise her that this version of him knows the meaning of the glyph on her chest, but it does.  Obviously, in his mind, he’s very aware of her heritage.  Nodding her head, Kara recalls that an El had been the Emissary to Daxam since the fall of the House of Ur on Krypton, her mind grasping to recount her family history.  If her calculations are correct, this would have been…four years before her birth, making her great uncle Zem the emissary at this time.  She’s tempted to play it off, to claim kinship to her great-uncle in hopes that it will gain some credibility, but that leads her—leads them both—in the opposite direction that they need to go.  After deciding his course of treatment without consulting him, a betrayal she regrets beyond words, she is already on thin ice with him, she is certain.  Using the truth to appeal to the grown man inside the defiant boy, is her best bet, she decides – even if it places her in danger.

 

“Mon-El…listen to me…none of this is real.  This is all in your head,” she pleads, opting for brute force instead of subtlety.  “Look at me.  You know me, Mon-El.  I’m your mate.”

 

Several things about the woman’s speech give him pause.  The first is the realization that his familiar name falls from her mouth with a sense of familiarity that can only be described as intimate.  She doesn’t use the official name used by the populace or the heads of the noble bloodlines of Daxam or provided to the emissaries and other intergalactic statesmen that move in and out of the Court of Vir Gand.  This woman knows his true name, the one his father calls him, his voice always tinged with disdain; the same name his bond-brother calls him when it’s just them and there are no titles to separate them.  It’s the name he both cherishes and dreads, and the woman with familiar lips and bright blue eyes uses it like it’s a lifeline and she is drowning in the crimson sea of the Vertolt Drift.

 

His second thought is her ridiculous assertion that she is his mate.  For him, latching won’t take place until he’s much older.  When it’s politically expedient for his father, he’ll be given a bride of high rank with impeccable blood lines, just as tradition dictates.  Mon-El doesn’t know who the person will be, but he knows with ironclad certainty that she won’t be a Kryptonian.  No matter how attractive he finds the woman still on her knees before him, such an alliance would serve little purpose but to draw the two planets closer to war than they already are.  Their planets are still recovering from the last time such a marriage occurred.  Her assertion is ludicrous beyond measure.

 

Mon-El and the older teen share a look, their eyes holding for a moment, before they dissolve simultaneously into a fit of raucous laughter that has her blushing with embarrassment.  It’s at this precise moment that she realizes the identity of this blonde boy, with his cherubic face and forest green eyes.  “You’re Ral,” she breathes.

 

“How do you know my name?”  His laughter stops abruptly, the smile melting from his face, Ral takes a step back, unafraid despite his youth.

 

“Because Mon-El told me,” she replies, her eyes glued to Mon-El.  “You told me that he was your step-brother.  That his mother married your father when he was seven and you were six.  That he was the only thing you truly missed about Daxam.”  Tears gather in her eyes at the thought of forcing a reminder of what his mind clearly wants to forget.  “You told me of how he died on the day that Daxam was destroyed.”

 

Mon-El scoffs at her story as if it is a fantasy—because it must be—but Morgon, moved by the genuine sadness in her voice, isn’t so sure.  Mon-El, unwilling to hear tales of his bond-brother’s inconvenient demise, points at the tears welling in her eyes.  “She has the hydration-sickness, Morgon!” Mon-El deduces.  “Clearly, she’s consumed too much water despite the Crown’s warnings, and gone mad with it.  We should have her ejected from the palace by the guards.”

 

“That’s ridiculous,” Kara begins, wiping at the single wet streak on her cheek that may provide evidence to the contrary.  “Drinking water doesn’t make people crazy.”

 

“Now she speaks treason,” Mon-El insists, his spine straightening.  “I will fetch a guard and order that she be taken to a cell,” his hands ball into fists as though he’s itching to strike her across the face.

 

Picturing what happens in the cells below the palace, what the King does to prisoners down there, Morgon’s heart clenches in his chest and he’s filled with inexplicable need to protect this woman from those horrors.  “No!” he replies aggressively, placing a calming hand on Mon-El’s arm.

 

“Morgon?!”  Mon-El growls, unhappy with Morgon’s interruption.

 

“Have a servant escort her down to the kitchens instead,” Morgon suggests, softly, his tone bordering on conspiratorial.  “They can ply her with dunberry wine.  That should be mild enough for one who’s overhydrated.  Perhaps her…madness…will lessen once she’s had something proper to drink.”

 

Mon-El calls out for a servant, taking for granted that one will respond with due haste.  While they wait, Kara makes one last attempt to reach him.  “You know I’m telling the truth,” she rushes.  “You can feel it and I can see that in your eyes.  Daxam is gone and this is all in your head, Mon-El.  You need to come home,” she pleads.  Before she can finish, a strong arm, that of a well-honed servant-slave is lifting her to her feet and dragging her away from him.  “If you stay here, you’ll die,” she calls over her shoulder, “…and so will I…because I’m not leaving here without you.”

 

As the top of her head disappears down the stairs, Morgon feels a sense of despair unlike anything he’s ever experienced, not since the death of his own father.  Why does he feel this way?  She was just a crazy woman who drank excessive amounts of water, unaware that its madness had seeped in, causing her to experience delusions and visions of an impossible future.

 

“She’s just a lunatic, Morgon,” Mon-El reminds him, though it seems he speaks more to remind himself.  Watching the strange woman being dragged away, he feels a twinge of something...soft inside, which he immediately shuts down before it can spread.  Morgon is soft enough for the both of them.  Still, he can’t help but feel like he’s forgotten something that should be burned indelibly into his memory.

 

“But…there’s something….”

 

“Forget about her,” Mon-El urges, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.  “She’ll be served wine in the kitchens, and then be escorted back to Kryptonian Embassy…where hopefully they can do a better job of taking care of their own.  It’s not as if they don’t understand our laws.”

 

“But they aren’t bound to follow them.  They have a strange aversion to imbibing fermented drinks.”

 

“I don’t think it’s the fermentation that bothers them,” Mon-El points out, with a chuckle, their relationship shifting back to normal.  “I think it’s the spontaneity that follows.  I’ve never met a Kryptonian that wasn’t in dire need of an Alverian colonic.”

 

Morgon snorts a laugh, amused at the visual created by his bond-brother’s joke.  “That will remove the steel from anyone’s spine,” he nods, scratching at the beginnings of a beard he is attempting to grow with little success.

 

“That my thinking,” Mon-El grins.  Slapping Morgon on the back, he draws his mind away from the sick woman who was just escorted away.  “Speaking of aggressive sexual positions…we’re running late for training with the Adepts.”

 

“Yes,” Morgon replies, his eyes lighting up with excitement.  “We wouldn’t want to leave them waiting.”

 

“Or wanting,” Mon-El adds with dancing eyebrows, his grey eyes twinkling to match his brother’s.  “Lead the way.”

 

Morgon slips his arm around Mon-El’s shoulders, leading his bond-brother in the opposite direction of the stairwell, glancing back one more time before leading the prince away.  Her illness explains the tears that welled in her eyes, and even the delusional belief that Daxam is on a path to destruction.  But it does not explain how she knows the prince’s true name…or his own.  Unless her story is somehow true.

 

“Come along, Brother,” Mon-El urges.  “When the Adepts get their hands on you, you’ll forget all about that Kryptonian crazy woman.”

 

“Right,” Morgon answers, still distracted by thoughts of her lips and those bright blue eyes looking up at him with such hope.  “Right.  I’ll put myself in the hands of the Adepts.”

 

“There’s the bond-brother I know and love.”

 

 

*****

Chapter Text

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching

Author: gldngr7

Rating: Explicit

 

Feedback:  Encouragement and constructive criticisms are always welcome.  Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

 

Author’s Notes:

 

Chapter 5/?

 

 

    And I'll rip these walls apart

        And I went and shot an arrow right through your heart

            But how those times have changed

                'Cause now you don't remember my name

   I'm sorry that I'm here so late

         And please don't turn my heart away

             For your love, I can change,

                    'Cause without you, I'm so hollow

 

-- “Bitter Pill”  -- Gavin James

 

  

Nothing feels right when he is with the Adept.  She removes her robes, allowing the sheer, silky material to slither down her hourglass figure until it settles on the floor, and all he can think is that her breasts are overly large and her areolae not the dusky pink he prefers.

 

His body reacts, his cock hardening to half-mast as usual, but his shaft seems unwilling to commit to more based on the temptation provided.  So, he throws himself into the lesson in hopes of erasing the memory of those blue eyes and perfect pink lips from his rebellious mind.

 

As Madame Fortis, Priestess to the Inner Sanctum of Lure, instructs him, Mon-El guides the Adept until she’s lying on the bed, her thighs spread open before him, as if she is a banquet to be consumed to his heart’s content.  Flashes of memory assault him the moment he dives into the Adept’s plump lips, slipping his tongue into her seam to taste her.  That’s not right either, he recognizes right away.  Fortis instructs him to listen to her body, not her words or the primitive sounds emerging from within.  It is only the body that speaks truth.

 

Kara’s body always spoke truth, he tells himself, because it didn’t know how not to.  Kara’s skin is satin to touch and her sweet juices taste like salted caramel, instead of the overly ripe wedges of randelfruit, with its addictive but still slightly acidic tang.

 

Kara?  How does he know her name is Kara?

 

Unexpectedly, his mind is flooded with images and memories of her that have him reeling backwards. 

 

“I didn’t come here to hurt anyone!”  His own voice, older and deeper fills his head. He scrambles away from the Adept, falling off the edge of the bed and landing painfully on his hip.  Why does it hurt so much?  It isn’t supposed to hurt anymore.

 

“Good, because you never will.”

 

“My name is Kara Zor-El, I’m from Krypton and like you…I’m a refugee on this planet.”

 

“You look absolutely beautiful with the weight of all these worlds on your shoulders….”

 

“Are we going to talk about what happened…between us?”

 

“What if we called it…a favor between friends?”

 

“You are stunning when you take your pleasure, Kara.” 

 

“So good…feels so good.”

 

“I’ll be fine.  Probably sooner than you think. Benefits of a yellow sun.”

 

“I want you again.  Is that wrong?”

 

“I’ll make a Daxamite of you yet.”

 

“I’d like that.  It’s a date!”

 

“See you there…Sunshine.”

 

The flashes continue, layered over the sounds of Madame Fortis and the Adept hovering around him.  “Are you unwell, my prince?” he hears Fortis’s velvet voice, laced with worry.  Mon-El presses the heels of his palms into his eyes, in hopes that he can halt the breathless rush of images that turn his body into a raging fire against his will.

 

“My prince, let me help you,” the Adept, offers, wrapping her fingers around his stiff cock. 

 

“Leave me!” he shouts, pushing her away from him.  Searing pain lances through his skull, and he can’t be bothered with pleasuring or being pleasured at the moment.

 

Leaping back, the Adept runs out of the room while Madam Fortis continues to hover above him.  “Shall I call for the Physician Eminent, Your Highness?”

 

“No,” he swallows, shaking his head.  “It’s just a headache.  It will pass.”

 

Without opening his eyes, his ears pick up the sound of liquid pouring into a goblet.  A moment later the cool goblet is being placed into his hand, Madame Fortis doing all the work of wrapping his fingers around the etched glass.  “Perhaps this will ease your discomfort.”

 

“My thanks,” he acknowledges before taking a large gulp, the sweet restorative sliding down his throat.  “I’d like to be alone.”

 

“As you wish,” Fortis replies, bowing in a deep curtsy. 

 

Mon-El hears the swish of the voluminous layers of her gown as she departs the room and he breathes a sigh of relief.  But the relief of being left alone doesn’t stop the memories from entering his mind, filling in blank spots he hadn’t even known were there.

 

“Dollars.  We call units dollars here in America…”

 

“I told them you were a secret superhero….”

 

“I occasionally talk to myself when I need to work things out in my head!”

 

“If I want to be a man worthy of you…I need to start acting like it.”

 

“Don’t tell me you don’t feel it too. It’s so powerful…it’s in my skin.”

 

“He sent you to me.  He sent you for me.”

 

“I’m yours…and you’re mine.”

 

“Say it again.”

 

“I’m yours, Mon-El of Daxam.  And you’re mine.  And don’t you ever forget it….”

 

“I can think of worse ways to die…”

 

“I don’t like that joke.  No more jokes about you dying…”

 

“I like it when you spank my ass...”

 

“Good girl.  And good girls should get everything their little heart’s desire.”  Her words were followed by the unmistakable sound of a palm slapping against skin.

 

“God’s of Val-Or,” Mon-El groans.  His body reacts to these memories with more power and vigor than he’s ever experienced with one of the Adepts or the most beautiful of Father’s concubines that he fantasized about before he began his lessons in the art of giving and receiving pleasure.  Spreading his legs out in front of him, Mon-El grasps his cock, squeezing and pumping the appendage with excruciatingly pleasurable brutality.  “Kara!” he moans, gasping as beads of sweat roll down his face from his forehead.

 

It all comes back like a flood, but in fits and starts, as he remembers the other world—the world where she was his and he had everything he wanted, a promise of a future he never could have imagined here.  Until it was taken away from him.

 

“Is this what you want?” he remembers, pumping his cock into his hand instead of the wet heat of her sheath.

 

“More,” her voice begs.

 

“You want to be in control?  Is that what you want?  Maybe I should sit in the chair and just let you ride me.”

 

“No!  No, baby, please?”

 

The mere recollection of her voice is enough to have him exploding into his own hand.  Grabbing for his shirt, he cleans up his mess and climbs to his feet on shaky legs.  As always, new clothes await him in the bathing chamber once he’s wiped his body down with a wet washcloth.  Mon-El shoves down the shame that threatens to swamp him when he thinks about his earlier action.  Self-pleasure is considered an act of selfishness on Daxam.  He could have easily used an Adept to meet his needs, and given her pleasure at the same time.

 

But the very idea made him uncomfortable…and a little afraid.  Kara would kill him.  His Kara.  His mate.

 

Kara.

 

She is here…in the palace?  It makes no sense, and he can’t force it to make sense.  What had she said?  That none of this is real?  Frantically, he realizes that he needs to find Kara.  She’s in the palace, in a place that’s none too friendly to Kryptonians, and he had abandoned her to that fate.  Reaching for his pants, he struggles with finding the open pant leg.  He needs to find Kara and he needs to find her now, before these memories slip away, as he somehow knows they will – suspects they have before.

 

*****

 

Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, Kara Danvers had honed the skill of hiding in plain sight.  Nursing her third glass of (delicious) dunberry wine, she plots her escape in hopes of getting back to Mon-El, a large portion of her plan relying on her ability to sneak away unseen.  But by the time she empties her third glass, her head is floaty and she wonders if she can’t fly again, even in this dream world.

 

Slumped over in her chair at a table in the corner of the kitchen, she becomes quiet as a church mouse and slowly the servants forget her presence and return to the attendance of their tasks.  When the activity in the kitchen reaches a fever pitch, as apparently the noon meal approaches, Kara slides out of her chair and slips out the door into the hallway.

 

Feeling like a sore thumb in her white Kryptonian travel ensemble, it occurs to Kara that she might get farther in her mission if she could locate an outfit that is a tad less distinctive and a bit more discreet.  No sooner does her mind complete the thought than her white garments are replaced, like a swipe of new pixels, by the terracotta orange uniform of a palace servant. 

 

Stunned by the wish fulfillment, Kara finds a mirror in the corridor and examines the new outfit carefully, noting the brown cuffs beneath the elbows of her three-quarters sleeves, and the flat brass buttons on the outside of the cuffs.  Like a wrap blouse, one string laces through the side panel of the shirt, until the strings meet and tie in the back.  Her chocolate brown trousers, made of a soft linen-like material, feel like yoga pants against her skin – and like yoga pants, the legs flare out, practically hiding the comfortable slippers on her feet.

 

On her head she wears a turban-like headpiece the color of her wrap blouse, with the bulk of her hair, braided into several strands emerging from the top of the swathed bundle.  Determining it unwise to be caught studying oneself in the mirror, she assumes a demure position, lowering her head and clasping her hand together in front of her. Her invisibility training comes in handy once more as she passes by several people of noble birth, judging by their jewelry and the bright colors of their clothing, without any of them taking notice.

 

Kara wonders if she should alter her attire to something more noble, debating internally about which will keep her safer, should any of these NPCs decide to turn on her for making the wrong move.  Alex had been very clear that this could happen, even though only Mon-El had turned on her during this little adventure.  But it seems a life as a third-class citizen is the smart choice when wanting to go unwitnessed – at least, so far.

 

When, out of nowhere, the sudden flash of memories brings her to knees and no one comes to her aid, Kara realizes just how invisible she is to Mon-El’s mind at the moment.  Instinctively, despite the pain slicing though her skull, she understands that these are his memories, because she’s seeing them from his perspective—feeling them from his perspective—and not her own. 

 

Something has triggered him to remember her, remember them, and it’s all coming back to him in a painful, overwhelming rush.  When the rush trickles to a stop at last, she has a few moments to breathe.  As she recovers on her knees, she pretends to search the tiled floor for something she might have dropped, thereby drawing even less notice from passersby, both servant and noble alike.

 

She overhears one servant pouting that the prince is rumored to be feeling under the weather and that an Adept was asked to depart his pleasure chamber.  The green dragon of jealousy rears its ugly head and Kara is torn between confronting him and giving her hurt full rein.

 

Unfortunately, she’s yet to make her decision when her surroundings melt into something new, swiping away just like her clothing did earlier, until she’s on her knees in front of Mon-El.  Again.

 

One leg is halfway into his trousers when he sees her there.  Startled, he jumps back, smacking his rear end into the counter, causing the washroom bowl to jostle and tip over the edge.  At once, both reach for the hand-carved stone bowl, catching it together just before it smashes into the ground.

 

“That was close,” she states, proud of having saved the day despite a lack of super speed.

 

“What are you…how did you get here?” he asks, setting the bowl gently back in its place on the counter.

 

“I’m not sure.  I’m still figuring all of this out,” she confesses, climbing to her feet.  “I can only imagine that you wanted me here, and so…here I am.”

 

“I was having…memories,” he tells her, still somewhat uncomfortable in her presence.  Reaching for his pants again, he slips quickly into them, tying the laces at the waist.  The material is soft, with an iridescent sheen common to the clothing of the noble houses. 

 

“I think I had them, too,” she nods.  “Or at least…I saw memories from your perspective.”

 

“It’s like having a veil removed from my eyes…painfully.  I’m half one person and half another.  I belong here, but I belong there too.”  Mon-El presses his fingers against his forehead.  “I don’t understand anything of this.”

 

“No…you belong there.  None of this is real, Mon-El,” she says gently.  “You’re unconscious on a bed in the DEO.”

 

“You mean I’m not dead?” he asks, dumbly.  It’s all a whirl to him.  For the longest time, he was certain he was dead, and this was Nerg-tyr.

 

“No, of course not!” Kara replies, horrified.  Is that what he’s believed?  How bad is it in the subconscious of his own mind that he would believe he is in the Daxam version of Hell?  “Do you remember the DEO?”

 

He nods, “I think so.  What happened?  Was I injured?”  He lowers his head trying to remember.  “No that doesn’t sound right,” he says before she can answer.

 

“There was an incident,” she explains, wringing her hands together.  “You weren’t well…you were seeing things…and I wanted to help you, but I went about it all wrong.”

 

Together they experience a flash of memory, the feel of cuffs slapping across his wrists.  “You wanted to lock me up,” he surmises from the small, but vivid snippets.  Feelings of hurt and rage spring up in his chest, and he turns to exit the washroom.  Fighting the part of him that wants to shut out these uncomfortable emotions and go back the dull blade he’d made of himself before these memories, Mon-El is overtaken by the need to pace

 

“I’m sorry,” she apologizes, following him out of the washroom.  “I’m so sorry.  I was wrong.  Making that decision without talking to you first was…a betrayal.  I see that now.  I only hope you can forgive me.”

 

As if the weight of this conversation deserves more than a teenager’s voice, when he turns to face her, he’s changed again – older this time – near the age he must have been when first they met.  But different still, there’s a neatly groomed beard on his face, and his body seems slightly bulkier than she remembers, as if thirty years in The Well of Stars caused his muscles to atrophy.  Perhaps unnoticeable to him because he emerged from his stasis coma with super strength, but easily recognizable to someone with intimate, and appreciative, knowledge of his anatomy.  And she is definitely appreciative of the new changes.

 

“You treated me like a criminal,” he accuses, his voice still deeper, running a hand through his hair as his feet move swiftly across the thick hand-woven rug.

 

“That wasn’t our—my—intention,” she excuses. 

 

He swipes a candlestick from atop a chest of drawers and Kara flinches as if he might throw it at her.  Mon-El doesn’t notice the sudden wariness in her stance, like she’s preparing to dive out of the path of the heavy flying object.  Instead of throwing it, however, he merely holds it, gripping it tightly while lifting it up and down, as though he is at the gym and the candlestick is a barbell.  “How is this not real?” he asks, for the moment distracted from his hurt and anger.  “I can feel its weight, the coolness of the metal against its skin…?”

 

“It feels real because…it was real once and your mind remembers how it felt.  And for the rest…your mind extrapolates based on existing memories and knowledge.  We’re very…imaginative.”

 

“So, you’re a figment of my imagination too then?  I mean…you said I was seeing things…out there.  How do I know I’m not seeing things now…in here?”

 

“I promise you, I’m real,” Kara replies.

 

Mon-El sets down the candlestick and reaches for here, grabbing her upper arms and testing their firmness, half-believing that his hands will pass right through her.  When they don’t, he asks, “If this is in my head and you’re real, then how did you get here?”

 

“Last year I was attacked by a Black Mercy.  Do you know what that is?”

 

Mon-El nods.  “It’s a parasite that keeps its host in a dream state while it feeds from them.  If the host is unable to wake up, they will eventually die.”

 

“Maxwell Lord retrofitted a virtual reality helmet so that Alex could interface with me in the dream state.  I’m using that same neural interface now to enter your dream state.  Winn and Cisco upgraded the software to include an exit portal I can control.  All I need is for you to go through the door with me and we can wake—“

 

Just then, the bedroom door opens and in glides a woman dressed in nothing more than a completely transparent negligee that drapes all the way to the floor.  Kara only has a moment to wonder why the woman bothers to wear anything at all.  Her voluminous waist-length black hair spills down the front of the sheer gown, strategically covering her breasts.  Each upper arm sports a golden cuff about three inches wide, an emblem etched into it that designates her as a sex worker.

 

“Are you quite well, my Prince?  Shall we continue with the lesson?”

 

Unbidden, the desire to leap across the room like a feral jaguar and tear the woman’s throat out rises within her, but she tightens her jaw and twists her fingers until the resulting pain redirects her thoughts.

 

At the reminder of his title, in Kara’s presence no less, Mon-El flinches, his heart sinking into the depths of his gut until he feels as though he might vomit.  Earlier, before his memories of the outside had surfaced, when she was just a hauntingly familiar face, he had been so arrogant about revealing his title.  Announcing himself the Prince of Daxam as if it held some real meaning – perhaps because in those days it had.  But since then he had morphed into a man, and that title had a very different meaning now.  It was a shackle, no different than a chain clapped on a slave.

 

So focused on him and reading his emotions, Kara hadn’t taken a moment to get her bearings when exiting the washroom.  Now, for the first time, she glances about, absorbing the sight of everything around her.  The massive mattress centered on a raised platform, its satin sheets ruffled as though recent use of the bed had been both vigorous and performed with great relish.  Mirrors adorn the ceiling above the bed, as well as portions of the walls around and behind it.  On one wall, there is row after row of implements designed to provide pleasure and pain, the purposes of which Kara can reliably identify perhaps a quarter of them and on another wall stands an armoire made of mirrors.  Above her own head, weight-bearing hooks are screwed into the ceiling, where she imagines a swing of some kind often hangs.  Stowed in the back of the room is an X-shaped cross with shackles dangling from each end, as well as several leather-topped benches and odd-shaped chairs.  Despite the bed, and other furniture, this is not a bedroom, she realizes; it’s far too large for that, too impersonal, with its grey stone floors and threadbare rugs scattered about to warm up the place.  More like a dance or athletic studio than a quiet hideaway most people would prefer for a boudoir, even a prince.

 

“This is a sex room,” she concludes aloud.  The velveteen bedspread over white satin sheets is a silver grey, a color she finds tasteful for a sex room, if such things are possible.

 

“Leave us,” he tells the scantily clad woman, who disappears so quickly, Kara wonders if she simply winked out of existence because he wished it so.  “It’s called a chancel but…yes, this is a sex room, Kara.  This is where I learn…learned…the ways of the pleasure arts.  For most of my young adulthood, I came here nearly every day for lessons with Madame Fortis and…whatever Adept was offered to me.  Sometimes more than one,” he adds.  “Sometimes the Adept was a male.”

 

Kara’s eyes widen with shock, and she sucks on her lower lip in an attempt to disguise her surprise.  “You had sex with men?”

 

“With men, with women…with the occasional Eldaraan,” he blurts out.  “They’re hermaphroditic, you know.  Makes things quite interesting.”  Mon-El observes her face carefully; searching for the sign of disgust he knows will come eventually. 

 

Something inside of him, the dike he crudely patches every time it springs a leak and threatens to reveal the entirety of his past, crumbles to dust and floods him with despair.  He’s ready for this to end, this dangling on tenterhooks that he’s mastered since beginning this doomed relationship with her.  At first, he thought he could get away with it, keeping all his secrets, starting a new life, but now he knows she will never be his; not once she knows the whole truth.  He hardens inside, in his gut and in his heart, because the only other option is to shatter, and he’s broken enough already.  “Then there were the orgies.”

 

“Stop,” she says waving her hand.

 

“Reach your limit, Princess?”

 

“Why are you pretending like I don’t know you’re from Daxam?” she asks, a tinge of mocking in her tone.  “You think any of this,” she indicates the room and its accoutrements, “changes things between us?” 

 

“Can you really be so naïve, Kara?” Mon-El spits angrily.  “Can you really be this foolish?  You think you can look at a sex room, learn that I grew up in a palace catered to by slaves and servants and think you know everything about me?  About who I am?  About what makes me…me?” His fingers curl into fists, his biceps and pectorals twitching beneath his skin, and Kara watches as he hardens right before her eyes, as though he’s forcing everything they’ve shared to fossilize into a memory he plans to bury deep.  “Your eternal optimism can’t fix this…fix me.  It can’t make me into something I’m not.  Your hope means nothing here.  You should go through the door and forget about me.”

 

“Forget about you?” she echoes, stymied by his unwillingness to return with her.  “Forget about the life we were building together?  About the plans we made?  I should forget about the life I thought we both wanted?  The life you swore you wanted.”

 

Something about her words, and the desperation with which she wields them, brings on another flash that has them both grasping painfully for their temples, as though they are mirror images of each other.  It’s like shoehorning a book onto a too-full shelf, this onslaught of memories that feels both intimate and distant at the same time.  As the pain fades, Mon-El tastes the acrid bitterness of uneasiness in the back of his throat before he seeks the answer upon which his whole world turns.  “Are you pregnant?”

 

To lie would be so easy, a simple nod of the head, maybe brush her hand over the flat of her stomach to really sell it.  She will have him then; take his hand and trigger the door that will take them both home.  Only to dig herself further into the arrears of his trust – a hole she’s already unintentionally dug for herself once.  She’ll be damned if she does it a second time on purpose – she couldn’t bear those consequences.

 

“Don’t lie,” he whispers, observing the conflict warring in her blue eyes.

 

Kara shakes her head, feeling the grief anew, fresh and sharp like a razor.  “No.”  

 

“Good,” he replies, decisively.  “You’re better off not being tied to someone like me.  What was it you called me again?” he asks, no amount of faked bravado able to cover the sadness in his voice.  “The ‘worst of the worst’?” he quotes.

 

“That’s not fair!  All I had was the gossip and second-hand stories,” she protests, tears slipping down her reddened cheeks.  “I didn’t know you then.”

 

“Oh, Kara,” he sighs, his voice rich with defeat.  “You never have.  The gossip was too kind.”

 

“Show me then,” she challenges, straightening her spine, arms akimbo in her Supergirl stance.  “If you think I’m so much better off…then show me.”  He’s slipping away from her, constructing walls to divide them and she can see them just as if they are constructed of brick and mortar.  In a last desperate bid to reach beyond the wall, Kara grabs his face and plants a kiss on his lips.  Her thumbs caress his cheeks as she dives deeper into the kiss.  “Show me,” she proposes again, this time a demand, against his lips before slipping her tongue inside.

 

It’s a kiss as real as any in the flesh, which is why he lacks the fortitude to push her away.  The part of him that knows this can never end well; that one day, perhaps today, she will look at him with disgust in her eyes, cries out to escape her assertive lips and grasping hands.  He sinks into the assault of her mouth and tongue, promising himself that it’s just one last kiss before letting her go.  He wraps his arms around her waist, taking her flush against his body.  His arms need one last chance to hold her…before he forgets why he wants to.

 

Like a spark set to accelerant and kindling, his demurrals go up in flames as he takes over the kiss, his hands diving into her hair – suddenly and magically freed from the headpiece common to palace servants.  Threads of silk tickle the sensitive skin where his fingers meet between their top knuckles.  Fisting them together, he grips at her hair, yanking back her head as he dives deeper into the kiss, committing her mouth to memory, in a desperate hope that, in whatever time remains in this hellish world of a half-life, he might find a way to replay it over and over again.

 

Only in the deepest recesses does he wish her naked, but no sooner does the fleeting thought occur to him, then her clothing disappears as though de-pixilated from his conscious mind.  Her breasts against his chest now, his hands skim the surface of her back, covering as much territory as he can, spreading his fingers wide for maximum contact.  On instinct, one hand slides down her back, curving and dipping until it finds a single, lush globe of her rear end.  Gripping it tightly, he presses her pubis against his still flaccid cock which presents him with an idea.  An idea with a rapidly closing window.

 

Tearing away from the kiss, breathing heavily, he leans his forehead against hers.  “You wish for me to show you?”

 

“Yes,” she replies, her own breath coming fast and hard, the taste of him still on her lips.

 

To her disappointment, Mon-El releases her and steps away, leaving her bereft of his heat.  He looks her up and down, devouring her with his eyes before turning around and walking over to the peg wall draped with implements for both pleasure and pain.  For a moment, he studies the wall, his back turned to her, as he considers her request.  Considers how he can get his impossibly stubborn mate to leave him…forever.  For her own good.

 

“Mon-El?” she asks after a too-long moment of silence passes between them.

 

“Are you sure about this?” he queries, his mind forming what he hopes is a viable plan for her to leave this place and forget about him.  He will show her the worst parts of himself, everything that Father made of him.  He will show her the depths of Daxam’s depravity, as much of it as he can stomach himself, until she runs screaming and thanking her precious Rao for showing her the escape route.

 

Kara’s eyes scan the peg wall of sensual apparatuses with unveiled interest.  No longer the same prudish girl she was when he blazed into her life, she’s not afraid to admit—at least to him—that her naked body thrills at the idea of testing out some of these toys.  Not afraid to admit she hopes that’s where his question leads.  “Yes,” she answers confidently.  “Show me the man you think you’ve been hiding from me.”

 

After another long moment of pensive silence, in which Mon-El mentally plots his course, he announces, “We’re going to play a game.  It’s called ‘Cry Mercy’.”

 

“I like games,” she smiles, her lips trembling.  Clasping her hands behind her back, she twists back and forth from the hips, like a little girl watching her full skirt twirl around her with each move.  “I like playing with you.”

 

“This isn’t just any game,” he warns.  “There are rules.”

 

“Aren’t there always?” she smiles, the edges of her lips trembling.  She likes his rules.

 

“And stakes.”

 

“Stakes?” she queries, her interest now piqued further.

 

“You will follow my rules,” he begins.  “You will do everything I say, meet my every demand, no matter how filthy—“

 

“Sounds fun,” she interjects, already imagining the pleasure he will bring her.

 

Cupping her chin, he forces her to look at him.  “Already the memories of that life have begun to fade,” he whispers, “and when they’re gone for good, I’ll remember this, remember that I…cared for you…but not why.  It’s a memory that will be…easily disregarded, like an accusation without evidence,” he warns her.  “You’ll just be an unbalanced Kryptonian who claims she’s my mate.  I may even remember that you hurt me deeply and feel the need to avenge myself upon you.  If you move forward with this…there will be pain.  There will be…debasement and you will be powerless to stop it.”

 

He will forget her?  Forget what they had together, except for the moments created here in his mind?  Her presence here is now more necessary than ever, she realizes.  “Powerless,” Kara gulps, a sliver of fear creeping into her.

 

“Powerless…but for one thing,” he qualifies, holding up his index finger.  “Cry ‘Mercy’ and it will all come to an end.  But when I say it ends, that means you will leave this place.  Take your exit and go…and never look back.  You will forget about Mon-El of Daxam.  Is that understood, Kara Zor-El?”

 

“What?!” she cries, too shocked to even consider it.  “No, Mon-El!”

 

“Those are my terms,” he replies, succinctly, digging in his heals.  “Cry ‘Mercy’ and you will leave.  Please…Kara,” he breaks a little…begging.  “I’m doing this for your own good.”

 

“No one decides what’s best for me, but me!” she reminds him, angrily.

 

“A sentiment that doesn’t seem to go both ways,” Mon-El snaps, meeting her anger with equal force, the royal authority roaring into his voice, and watching as she shrivels beneath the truth of it.

 

So arrogant she was in the outside world, to believe that she knew what was best for him as though he were a child to be reared, and then bristle at his attempt to do the same for her. “I deserved that,” she agrees, defeated.  “And in the interest in restoring a measure of equality to our relationship…I will accept the terms of your victory,” she defers, having no intention of losing.

 

“Good,” he breathes a sigh of relief.

 

“Now here are mine.  If I win…you will take the portal and return with me.”

 

“Unacceptable,” he says, shaking his head.  What he can’t tell her is that, even if he was able to return to the outside world, his mind has him trapped here, forcing memories upon him as though trying to make him recall something his conscious mind never knew.  He’s been here an eternity, unable to hold on to thoughts, to memories, for longer than it takes to cycle back around to them.  Things that occur here seem to stay, like a wispy dream, its most salient points remembered, but his mind pushes away memories of his life with her in favor of those from a long-dead world.  Already his recollections of the outside world, recently regained, grow hazy.  His mind will never let him return until he puts together the puzzle his fractured psyche is trying to assemble. 

 

“You can’t make me leave,” she points out, crossing her arms defiantly over her naked chest. 

 

“You think my mind won’t turn this place into a maze?  Make every corridor endless, every door leading to another series of doors, leading to more endless corridors?”  It was something he had already experienced on his own, when he had tried to escape the memories that imprisoned him.  Once, in child-like form, he did as children do and threw a tantrum, refusing to play his mind’s torturous game.  After that, whatever part of his mind was running this show, began allowing him brief respites from the repetition of traumatic memories – respites like this one.  He had even been allowed to experience a few of his best memories, like a trip to a beautiful planet with crystal mountains.

 

“I will use the portal, and come right back.  Total reset,” she threatens, with a carefree shrug, not even certain if such a thing is possible, but infusing as much confidence into her tone as possible.  “A game isn’t worth playing unless both parties have something to win.  So far, your game offers little in the way of incentive for me.  But understand this Mon-El…I’m not leaving you in this place.  If I have stay here until my body withers, or if I have to exit a thousand times to reset…I’m not leaving you here.”

 

Mon-El knows her, knows her stubborn arrogance, enough to accept that she is neither bluffing, nor incapable of following through on her threats.  Clasping his hands behind his back, he paces back and forth, considering the options, until a third option, one that he deems acceptable presents itself. 

 

Kara, as a new addition to his mind, is a wildcard it seems.  Her presence may yet serve a purpose, allowing him to deviate from the show of memories on endless repeat, and if it does not, he can still get her to see that he isn’t worth saving.  Allowing her to stay buys him the time to make her see that leaving of her own free will is for the best, ensuring she will not return with any neural reset.  So…today, tomorrow, eventually…she will see that he was never meant to survive his planet’s destruction and she will go.  That his hopes of winning her heart, of becoming a hero, or just a person worthy of her admiration…were all just the pipe dreams of a selfish good-for-nothing who thought, for a brief shining moment, that he could be more than what he was.

 

“If you win, you may stay with my blessing….” he decides.

 

It isn’t what she wanted, hoping that a win would result in his total capitulation, but the stakes are not a total loss.  Staying buys her time to convince him there’s something worth coming home to, convince him that he’s worth saving and that allowing himself to be the man she sees in him is still a viable course open to him.  All he must do is accept it – and she will pay any price to ensure that he will.  Smiling in relief, Kara gazes into his achingly handsome face and nods her agreement.

 

“As my senya,” he qualifies, adding this codicil while smiling to himself. 

 

“What’s a senya?” she asks, narrowing her eyes suspiciously when she sees his cryptic smile.

 

“My personal concubine.”  It is a stroke of genius, he thinks.  What better way to show a holier-than-thou Kryptonian the horrors that raised him, the filth that covers him still?  On Daxam, slavery – sexual or otherwise – is not something in which he indulges, not since he understood its meaning, and the depth of damage it does to a free soul.  Not when his own soul has been so similarly corrupted.  It is a part of his culture, and has been for a thousand years, but it is not one with which he agrees and that is due, in part, to his father’s view on the subject.

 

His father sees all people, including Mon-El, as inferior creatures to be commanded and bent to his will.  And he takes the type of pleasure in it that can only be described as a rotting sickness – a sickness Mon-El fears would infect him eventually.  It is why he never traffics in slaves, neither in this palace, nor while abroad on planets that offered such services – and because he knows all too well what it is like to discover his will is not his own.  It is also why he is careful to restrict his copious sexual proclivities only to the willing, with desires aligned towards his own, and only then to a rotating roster of Adepts, rather than a single paramour or concubine.  He is careful not to play favorites amongst the Adepts, so that bruises don’t last and they always come back for more.

 

“Should you stay…you will be my senya,” he continues, trailing the pad of his index finger down her cheek, capturing a tendril of hair and wrapping it around his first knuckle.  “As my senya, you will be afforded rank, privilege and protection under my name…for as long as you bend to my will in all things.”

 

“And if I don’t?” she asks, made breathless by his nearness, by his touch, and by the thought of the ways he can employ to bend her to his will, whatever that might mean.

 

“Let’s not speak of consequences until they become necessary,” he replies.  “They are not a part of this negotiation and I won’t be locked in or limited by decisions made this early in the game.  Suffice it to say that there will be consequences, and I won’t hesitate to deliver them.”

 

Kara sees right through him.  He’s trying to scare her enough to drive her away and plans to go to extremes to show himself in the worst light.  Perhaps even to go so far as be the prince she once thought him – ‘the worst of the worst’.  The prince once rumored to think of nothing but himself, who drank himself into to oblivion as often as possible and serviced an untold number of women (and men, apparently), as if the palace was a royal stud farm.

 

Kara will play his game if these are the rules, but she will not be driven away, no matter the price she must pay or the pain and humiliation she must suffer.  He is her mate, and he will be restored to her, and if the cost is her pride, she will gladly pay it.

 

“Terms of your victory are clear,” she points out, seeking clarification.  “If I ‘Cry Mercy’ then you win and I will leave.  But what sets the terms of my victory?  At what point do you admit defeat?”  His grey eyes meet hers and she can see them darken as his pupils widen.

 

“When I’m too exhausted to continue, you may consider your victory assured…and well-earned,” he announces.

 

Casting a glance at the bed, and back to the peg wall, Kara smiles internally, but schools her face to that of someone who is participating in a serious arbitration.  She can win this, of this she has no doubt.  With or without powers, she does not break – especially when the stakes are this high.  Holding out her hand to shake his, she says, “I accept these terms.”

 

Staring at her hand, Mon-El smiles his smuggest smile.  “I prefer another way to seal a deal.”  He pulls her against his body and closes his mouth over hers as he kisses the breath out of her.  After a long moment, her knees preparing to melt from underneath her, he tears away from the kiss.  “Let’s begin, then.”

 

 

*****

Chapter Text

Cry MercyAesthetic>

 

 

Chapter 6/?

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching
Author: gldngr7
Rating: Explicit

Feedback: Encouragement and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

Author’s Notes:

 

     Did you break but never mend?
          Did it hurt so much you thought it was the end?
              Lose your heart but don't know when
                    And no one cares, there's no one there

      -- The Script -“Flares”

 

“Yes,” she agrees, her nipples already awakened by the heat of his skin against hers. “Let’s begin.”

Untying his pants, he lets them drop to the floor and kicks them away before stalking purposefully back to the peg wall, where he digs into a cupped receptacle pinned to the wall within easy reach. The receptacle appears to contain what looks like tangles of brightly colored pasta. Carefully, Mon-El roots out one strand, untangling it from the others and slides it free from the bunch, holding it aloft.

To the untrained eye, like Kara’s, it simply appears to be a malleable strip of blue rubber or latex, about the diameter of a strand of vermicelli, less than a millimeter thick. Kara observes, fascinated, as he massages one end of the device until a filament running the length of the strip lights up inside.

Laying it gently over his palm, he cups the shaft of his half-flaccid penis, causing the blue cabling to come to life, right before her eyes. Gasping, she observes as the blue strand snakes its way around his shaft, through the bush of his pubic hair and underneath, disappearing between his legs. Efficiently, unerringly, it slithers back to the source, connecting to its other end – like an Ouroboros, devouring its own tail.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she approaches him, bending down to examine the implement. “What is it?” she asks.

“It’s called a Callus Band,” he informs her. “Think of it as…the Daxamite version of a cock ring.” But it’s a bit more than that. So very much more. The technology was invented some decades ago as an assistance device to facilitate the ability of men to pleasure multiple partners at one time. It was never meant to be used on one lover, as he is using it this day. Held captive by their agreement, she will surely be ready to cry mercy long before he is depleted. The only time he’d worn the device in the past, a few years before his planet’s destruction, he’d been taking part in a carnal ritual in celebration of the goddess Lure’s rise. Despite his skill in the pleasure arts, he had feared reflecting poorly upon Father and had used the device to make a good showing. It had taken him three days to recover from the exhaustion.

Shamelessly, Kara leans down to peer between his legs. It doesn’t take a degree in engineering to see that when his cock gets hard, the stretchy material will place greater pressure on his testicles, tightening around them. “Does it hurt? What’s its purpose? Can I see?”

“So many questions,” he chuckles, tilting his head. “Something tells me I shouldn’t be surprised by that….” Diving a hand into her hair, he yanks her head back again and presses downward until she’s forced to drop to her knees. Eyes drowsy with the bliss of his rough guidance, she smiles dreamily up at him. “Why don’t you suck my cock and find out what it does? You’re in for quite a surprise.”

She doesn’t have to be told twice. Opening her mouth like a baby bird, she sticks out her tongue and laps at the tip of his penis as though testing it to see what will happen. She doesn’t want to miss anything special. Swirling her tongue around the mushroom-shaped head, she decides to take it into her mouth, sucking on it like an icy popsicle. After a few sucks and an added swirl of her tongue, she takes him deeper, lubricating his stiffening shaft with the saliva that pools in her mouth.

Mon-El hisses at the pleasure of it; of her hot and eager mouth working him, of this Kryptonian on her knees before him like the perfect supplicant, of his hands buried in her thick tresses, ready to hold her in place should he decide to fuck her pretty mouth. The strand tightens around him as his cock thickens, allowing the blood to flow into his shaft, but preventing its easy egress.

Pulling away, Kara licks her palm for added lubrication before wrapping her fingers around him and giving the shaft a few slow pumps. Right before her eyes, in only a matter of moments, he grows to a larger size than ever before, his girth increasing until her hand is no longer able to enclose around its circumference.

“Ahhhhh,” she gasps, her eyes widen, even as she wipes a stream of spittle from the side of her mouth.

“Yes,” he confirms. “You see now?”

Kara nods, speechless.

And the band will make me last longer as well,” he explains. “Perhaps even experience several climaxes before I go limp.” It’s a bit of an understatement of the facts. The Callus Band gives him a distinct advantage in their challenge, since the last time he wore one he stopped counting his orgasms before exhausting himself. Surely, he will have her crying ‘Mercy’ before he loses count this time, and victory will be his.

“Really?”

Mon-El doesn’t grace her with an answer, only replying, “Did I say you were done?” With one hand he leads her head back to his still-thickening cock, gripping her hair tightly with both hands.

With the tip of her tongue, her blue eyes tilted up at him, she traces the sensitive vein on the underside of the now stiff penis. The color is darker as well, a rich shade of purple, and when she takes him back into her mouth she nearly chokes on the larger size of it. He will stretch her clutch to limits never before reached, and the thrill of it races down her spine straight to her core.

He yanks her harder, now indicating that she should remain still. Slowly at first, he begins fucking her mouth, his abdominals crunching as his pelvis thrusts towards her face. “Open your throat and take it,” he instructs between gritted teeth. “Every inch.”

His demand leaves no room for rebellion, not that she would. Grabbing on to his thick thighs, she opens her throat as best as she can. With each thrust of his hips he strikes far enough in the back of her throat to trigger her gag muscles. It is only now, as she is immobile, trapped between the hands holding her fast and his thrusting cock, that she realizes how much control he gave her in past encounters of a similar nature, all while making it seem that she was completely under his command. But now it is different; now he is mastering her and despite the discomfort she is surprisingly ravenous for more. Her jaw begins to ache and her eyes water from the strain of taking his steel-hard girth, the tears spilling down her cheeks.

Afraid that he will see these tears as a signal to stop, she reaches her hands around to the perfect, clenching globes of his ass, digging her fingernails in as she silently encourages him to take her harder.

Mon-El’s head drops back with a groan. “Take it,” he moans. “Get it good and wet.”

“Mmmmmm,” she releases a high-pitched moan, hollowing her cheeks as best she can around the growing tool, so that her saliva will lubricate him completely. “Mmmm…mmmm…mmmm….” She moans in time to his thrusts.

The gag at the back of her throat feels blissful on his cock’s tip, but he wants this to last for hours and hours, and he’s not willing to give up his first climax so easily if he doesn’t have to. He needs to master her – needs to show her who he really can be without restraint, how he was raised by the sadistic fuck he calls Father, so that she will run from this place without looking back. So that she can forget about him and move on with her life, believing the truth – that she’ll have dodged a bullet when she leaves him. With one last look down at her, mouth stretched to its limit by the monster version of his cock, hair a tangled, voluminous mess, tears streaming down her face, he reaches around and pulls her hands away from his ass and withdraws from her mouth.

“What…?” she asks, confused, her throat thick with saliva and her lips, slightly worn from the stretching. “Did I do something wrong?” She reaches for him, but he sidesteps her and slaps her hands away. Though she’s never been trained in such behavior, she bows her head and places her hands in her floor by her knees, like the natural submissive she is.

Surprised by this new development of her submission, he hisses as another jolt of blood rushes into his cock. “Stay there,” he says. “I want to look at you.” Circling around Kara, he wants to remember her – sear this image of her into his brain. Not just like this, in submissive pose, but to recall every single time their bodies have moved together in harmony. Catalogue each moment, both the beautiful and the salacious, from the first time to this…their last. It may be the last time he’ll ever be able to recall the first time they made love in her loft, or having her bent over her desk at work, her breathtaking reaction to the first time he spanked her.

Naked, her long, luscious hair, mussed from his handiwork, spills over her shoulders and down her chest. Reaching down, he moves the hair until its streaming down her back, rather than obstructing his view. Perky and unaffected by gravity, nipples jutting proudly outwards, her breasts are squeezed together by the arms she holds close to her body.

Kara enjoys his examination of her, no longer feeling the desire to hide her body from him, as she did that first time they were together. Their nakedness was both curiosity and terror then, all rolled into one intense experience that would be forever etched onto her heart. But though she kneels there, an exhibition for his pleasure, it’s not her body she hopes will sway his mind. It’s the connection they share, something she knows is more than just physical. It’s written in the stars and ordained by Rao. She doesn’t need him to accept this, she only needs him to feel it.

“Look at me,” he commands and without hesitation she tilts her head back to look up at him.

So beautiful, Mon-El is struck breathless by the luminescence of her skin, the shine of her hair – the mess he’s made of her – and the sparkle that makes her eyes look like aquamarines cut to reflect the light. He can hear the sound of his own heart cracking open in the short staccato breaths that escape from his lungs. Every sight of her must be savored, he knows. Every touch of her skin against his, every soft sigh of pleasure or scream of release that graces his ears, for he is determined it will be their last, even if it makes a total bastard out of him.

Climbing onto the bed, Mon-El situates himself on his back, propping up on his elbows, considering his options on what to do next as he contemplates the miscreant between his legs begging for attention. From experience, he knows that the longer he belays his climax, the more satisfying it will be, and he wants this night to be epic. Previous acquaintance with this device, in addition to his years of training, has taught him to befriend the kind of pain that comes from wearing this kind of special cock ring. It is a technology that both lengthens and widens an erection until the silk-skin is on the verge of bursting, a result that comes with a heavy tax of pain. Perhaps not seduced by pain quite as much as his beautiful, perfect Kara, Mon-El has learned through training to find the enjoyment when it presents itself.

Also from experience, he knows that his cock is a ways yet from attaining its full potential.

Using everything he knows, he needs to ruin her with it, until she runs from this mind palace without a glance backwards, happy to let him die here. Where he should have died in the first place. He must begin by distancing himself from her emotionally. Objectifying her in a way to which he’s certain she would take offense in the outside world. Make her into his personal whore and then show her the exit, turning his back on her.

“Stand up…Kryptonian,” he commands in a gruff voice, “and come here.”

Kara acts quickly, popping to her feet, skipping over to the bed with a bounce in her step, standing over him like a mermaid goddess rising from the foamy sea. Her eyes rake over his supine body, his spread legs, his increasingly wide member that causes her core to clench instinctively, his tight abdominals with their smattering of hair and finally, his broad chest, perfect for placing her hands as she rides him to climax. Unconsciously, Kara licks her lips at the thought of that thing stretching her so that she would weep with the joy and the pain of it.

Laying back he stares at their reflections in the mirrored ceiling before issuing his next command. “Climb on the bed and straddle my face with your Kryptonian cunt.” He stresses the hard ‘c’, daring her to say something about his use of this filthy word.

But she doesn’t hate when he says it – not when it makes sense in context, using it to describe a body part, and not throwing it around like a weapon meant to hurt, but ammunition meant to titillate. The longer they’re together, the more she discovers what turns her on, and one of the things that gets her blood pumping is when he talks dirty to her. She loves the filthy words he says and wishes she were better at it herself. Wishes sometimes that she could get out of her own head.

Placing her hands on the bed she crawls over his body, her belly brushing torturously against his erection as she stalks him like prey. She’s operating on all cylinders and her engines are revving at top speed, as Kara contemplates the delicious grind of his rock-hard cock against her swelling arousal, but continues her more northerly course like the good little submissive she is. Bypassing his erection finally, Kara adds a few kisses on her way up his abdomen, across his ribs and up to his chest, where his pectorals seem to spasm beneath the siege of her lips, tongue and teeth.

When she skips his mouth and keeps crawling, Mon-El positions his body accordingly, while waiting for Kara to settle hers. Kneeling above his head, she lowers her damp cunt to his face as he sticks out his tongue to receive her, wrapping his arms around her upper thighs to hold her in place.

With no headboard close enough to reach, only a mirror before her to watch, Kara spears her fingers into his hair as his tongue goes to work relentlessly teasing her clit. He doesn’t ease into it or attempt to feign gentleness, instead choosing to drive her straight towards completion. Undulating her hips forwards and backwards, grasping tightly—unforgivingly—to his hair, Kara rides his mouth, refusing to let him control her orgasm in spite of his tenacious efforts. She grows wetter, their juices mixing together as he salivates at the salty-sweet caramel flavor of her.

It’s been forever since he’s tasted her, an eternity in this place without the flavor of her arousal, a hell of repeating the same moments over and over, some of them good remembrances and some of them traumatic, but all of them without her. Without this. Now, determined die in this place, this makeshift Daxam, Mon-El resolves to hold nothing back for this last time, before he sends her away. He will have her in every way possible until he can no more. Gripping her upper thighs, he forcibly stills her motions, holding her against his mouth as his lips find her clit and latch on, like a newborn taking to a source of nourishment.

It takes but a single breath for her to enter a state of drifting euphoria, struck senseless by the combination of his well-trained mouth, his groomed beard against her most tender of flesh, and the boldness with which he takes control. With dreamy eyes, she studies their reflection in the mirror, his dark head moving between her thighs as she lifts her hands to cup her breasts, plucking at her nipples until the areolae pucker painfully. Thighs contracting with anticipation, Kara pants unevenly, each breath building a dam against the flood of sensation that is certain to swamp her when it finds her at last.

“Ahh….unnhhh…yes! Oh Rao,” she moans, each mono-syllable familiar and treasured by his ears.

He varies his technique, taking short but powerful draws on her clit that leave her lungs feeling like an airless vacuum. Following a series of pulls, he retreats to tease the increasingly sensitive bud of nerves with the tip of his dexterous tongue. Just when she thinks his pattern is predictable, he tilts her hips, jabbing his greedy tongue into her clasping, hungry passage, swirling and lapping at her warm honey as if it’s life-giving sustenance. And in some ways, it is. He’s a man drowning in hopelessness, rescued only by these last moments of pleasuring her, of the kittenish mewls that spill from her lips like gems from a velvet pouch, and of the thighs vibrating next to his head, warning of impending implosion.

Kara’s fingers turn limp as the electrical stimuli racing through her blood and underneath her skin, transforms every part of her body into a gelatinous goo held together by vibrating flesh. Arching her spine, Kara leans back, Mon-El’s bruising grip on her thighs doing the lion’s share of helping her maintain her balance as her hands find her heels, his mouth working her sopping arousal unceasingly. He groans and growls, attending to his task like a starving beast stumbling upon a meal prepared just for him. Content to do nothing but feast upon her banquet, he cares nothing for the idea of coming up for air.

So acute is her pleasure, nerves sparking and firing with such vehemence, it’s impossible to believe that this is all taking place in her mind. In his mind. It’s all the more unfathomable when the pleasure builds to a crest; and when he taps her thigh, giving her permission, that crest breaks over the dam as though smashing it to bits, drowning her in fire that rages beneath her skin, licking down her spine and spreading outward.

Kara’s entire body goes limp, swaying to one side, and the next thing she knows, she’s on her knees and her face is buried in the impossibly soft velveteen of the bed cover. Hips held high by his strong hands, she is completely exposed, completely open to him, and her clutch convulsing in unbearable pleasure – a still-hungry mouth, waiting for the sustenance it needs.

On his knees behind her, his legs on the outside of hers, he grips her tight enough to bruise. Her skin is soft and malleable as he grips at the globes of her ass, and Mon-El draws back a hand, bringing it down hard on the creamy expanse of her backside. Echoing through the room, the loud smack results almost instantly in a pink approximation of his handprint on the canvas of her ass.

“Unnnggghhhhh,” she grunts in response, still barely sentient after her orgasm. Biting down on her bottom lip, her fingers fist handfuls of silver-grey velveteen. Without her powers to counteract his blows, the sting of his spank doesn’t dissipate as quickly as she’s accustomed, instead lingering on before turning into a burning heat instead of a comforting warmth. Before she has time to truly analyze these new, richer sensations – and how she feels about them – his hand comes down on her other cheek. Her body jerks in response to the assault, instinctively shying from the pain. The resulting burn is too intriguing to be denied, however, so she leans into the next one.

His cock grows harder, swelling both in length and width, at the sight of her pale skin growing redder and redder with each application of his hand to her ass. For good measure, he gives each cheek two more spankings, alternately each side. With every smack, Kara jerks and then settles back into place, her bottom giving a tiny shimmy. Whether the invitation that shimmy provides is conscious or subliminal in nature, he isn’t certain, he only knows that her body begs for him. It won’t be long before her mouth provides an additional appeal.

Silently encouraging the tension of her body to tighten, he grasps his shaft and rubs it against the hot, red globe of first one cheek and then the other, reveling in the fire that burns on the surface of her skin and beneath. Purposely, he avoids her glistening, clasping slit, where he knows she wants the very tool he brushes against her skin. On the mass of red handprints, he leaves a trail of iridescent pre-ejaculate, marking her with the liquid that leaks from the purple, bulbous glans of his cock.

“Unnngghhhh,” she groans, the sound rising in pitch to indicate pleasure with just a hint of discontentment. While he appreciates her more feral vocalizations, and the primal demand of her jutting pelvis, he wants to hear her beg.

Glancing over his shoulder, he studies the wall of accoutrements hanging from their pegs. On the outside, where her skin is impenetrable and the bright purple of a bruises applied for pleasure stubbornly refuse to form, most of these devices would serve no purpose, and would likely end up in pieces. But here, her powers are a memory, as are his.

Mon-El climbs off the bed, much to her chagrin and vocal displeasure. “Where are you going?” she whines.

From the side of the bed, he lays one more spank on her displayed backside. Slowly, gently, he drags the pads of his fingertips over the enflamed flesh, both to soothe and to tickle, her nerve endings made even more receptive by his ministrations. Taunting her with his touch, Mon-El slides his middle finger into her wet sheath, one knuckle deep.

“Yes,” she sighs, pressing her hips back, hoping to draw it in deeper. However, a keening whine of disappointment spills out when deeper penetration is not forthcoming.

Still, it’s not the begging he longs to hear. Mon-El runs his finger along the slit, to tease and to arouse, but not to satisfy. Glancing down at the floor, he’s reminded of the straps and cuffs anchored with U-bolts to the raised platform supporting the bed and he flashes on a conversation about Nth-metal they had the last time they were in bed together. So few of those memories remain in his head now that he’s unsure of where to place this new flash in his shelf, so many books gone that memory gaps cause them to list and fall, the remaining shadows unable to stand straight.

Unaware of the sight that instigated the memory, or the sorrow that accompanies it, Kara smiles at the flash, despite the unwelcome sort of pain that streaks through her head as the pictures intrude upon her mind.

“On your back,” he orders. When she hesitates, gripping the coverlet between her fingers, he reaches for her hair and jerks her head up until she’s dragged to a kneeling position.

Kara’s nipples stiffen to agonizingly neglected peaks in response to the dominant manner with which he controls her body. She swallows heavily, the long column of her vulnerable neck exposed to him as he forces her head further back. With one hand fisted tightly in her thick tresses, another hand cups a single breast, lazily -- threateningly – rolling the turgid nipple between thumb and forefinger. She sighs happily at the thought of their boundaries taking another push outward in search of limits. She hasn’t found one yet.

“As the Prince of Daxam, I have a certain reputation to maintain. It’s what Father’s subjects demand, or so he says,” Mon-El growls, his voice angry and authoritative, his hot breath washing over her ear as he flicks her nipple with the pad of his thumb. “I am known to enjoy a good party, to be easy going, but every now and then a subject will get a little too familiar – convince themselves they can pick and choose which commands they will follow and which they will ignore. Strict correction will be necessary then. It is for their own protection, Kryptonian,” he explains. “Because should Father hear that these misdeeds went ignored, his punishment would make my ‘gentle’ correction look like child’s play.” Releasing her from his hold, he pushes her down to the bed. “I think it’s time you discovered what it’s like to be corrected by the Prince of Daxam.”

She wants this, she realizes. Yearns for it, even. Needs to be cleansed of this heavy guilt that she carries and will do anything to be rid of it. Following his instruction, she rolls over onto her back and nods, reaching out her hands to brush them against his belly and thighs. She makes a play for his cock but he slaps her hands away none too gently. “I was such a bad girl,” she confesses, without a trace of artifice in her tone, spreading her legs in invitation. “I went behind your back and betrayed you. I need to be punished.”

“Yes, you do,” he agrees, his voice ominous with the promise of pain yet to come. “And you will be, Kryptonian. You will be.”

Kara bites her bottom lip, and swallows the nervous lump in her throat and squirms a little on her back, readying herself for whatever punishment he has planned.

 

****

Chapter Text

 

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching

Author: gldngr7

Rating:(hella) Explicit 

 

Feedback:  Encouragement and constructive criticisms are always welcome.  Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

 

Author’s Notes: I live for the comments. 

 

 

    You’re looking in the wrong place for my love

           Don’t think because you’re with me this is real

                 You’re looking in the wrong place for my love

                       Don’t stop what you're doing 'cause I like that too

 

-- Zayn   -- “wRoNg”

 

 

Chapter 7/?

 

Bending over, he picks up the heavy strap made of the thick skin of a patta’an, a herding beast that roams the flatlands of Malton Plains, just a few hours ride from Capitol City.  Clasping her forearm, he places Kara’s wrist in the cuff squeezing it closed until the lock automatically engages with a hiss and a click, securing her tight enough to leave marks, but not to cut off the circulation entirely.  “Do you know why this room is so large, Kryptonian?”

 

Watching him move from one side of the bed to the other via the mirrors above her, she guesses, “You mentioned orgies…and there were rumors – even on Krypton.”  Examining the leather straps, she finds that it’s made of a rough, gray animal hide that has a slight, shimmery scaly quality to it, as though a rhinoceros and a trout had a love-child.

 

“Yes,” he chuckles, recalling a few of the better rumors published on the Daxcess, “but there were usually no more than six or seven people for that,” he explains, picking up the matching confinement strap from the floor.  He takes a moment to adjust the length to reach her, avoiding her eyes as he schools her on the uses of the sex room, or ‘chancel’, as he calls it.  As he secures the lock of the cuff around her second wrist, he lets his fingers trail down her arm a bit before releasing her arm to let it fall back to the bed.  Then reaching across her, he takes the secondary straps attached to the cuffs and buckles them together.  In the mirror above her, she can see a large silver ring on the straps, and she wonders about its purpose.

 

“So…if not just orgies…what then?”

 

“Are you familiar with the term…Daxamite Dinner Party?” he inquires, a smile spreading across his face as the clear vision of a plan takes shape in his mind.  “You see…there’s no point in correcting someone, unless you can make an example of them,” he answers, cryptically.  Mon-El closes his eyes and suddenly the room is filled with the sound of raucous applause and more than a few whistles.

 

Surrounding the bed now are round, well-padded lounge chairs, clearly designed to be large enough for two (or more) people to comfortably sprawl.  On each chair, mid-height backs circle around half of the chair, supporting a bevy of throw pillows for comfort, and a recessed tray table on either end to put food and drink within easy reach of the chairs’ occupants.  Fifteen or more of these lounges, in two rows, form a semicircle around the bed, the chairs in the back row offset from those in the first, so there’s not a bad seat in the house. 

 

Lifting her head, she’s shocked to find the room now bursting to the seams with an audience, two dozen or more Daxamite nobles, both men and women, as well as two servants offering refreshments from a tray, and an Adept standing at Mon-El’s elbow.  Knowing that they’re all figments of his imagination doesn’t stop the flush of embarrassment that creeps across her skin.

 

“She blushes,” a handsomely appointed older gentleman points out her mortification.  “When was the last time you saw a woman blush?” the silver-haired man asks the group, his voiced awed with incredulity.

 

“She’s Kryptonian, Counselor Sabin,” Mon-El replies, as though that should explain everything.

 

And it must, because the entire room emits a collective, “Ahhhh.”

 

“It’s intoxicating, isn’t it?” Mon-El inquires.

 

“Yes, my prince,” answers a raven-haired woman, as though keen to be the teacher’s pet.  Somewhere in her early thirties, the woman is dressed, if the term were used charitably, in a sleek black cocktail gown that comes barely to mid-thigh.  Her breasts spill completely out of the low, square décolletage, her nipples covered by bejeweled pasties which are connected by three-silver chains that reflect the light as if they had been polished for hours. 

 

From Kara’s position on the bed, and the woman’s provocative manner of sitting, Kara can see straight up her skirt to her bare and already glistening slit.  Made all the more aware of her own exposed slit, Kara squeezes her legs together, as if it might afford her some measure of modesty.  Forgetting that her wrists are tied to the platform, she yanks her hands down, as if to cover her nakedness, and is surprised when the leather bands fight back, tugging her arms back in place.  

 

“They’re constructed from the outer skin of a patta’an,” Mon-El reveals, running a finger down the center of her chest to circle around her belly button.  “Their meat is inedible, but their skin is dynamic to the environment.  When alive, they adapt to different climates as well as to outside stimuli, such as sharp objects or energy weapons.  If one can manage to kill a patta’an, their hides are prized for slave training.  Applying pressure to a patta’an hide causes it to constrict in response, as though the animal’s instinct is still active – much the way a malak bird runs in circles after its head has been struck from his body.  Attempting to escape one’s patta’an bindings has been known to result in fatalities and the only way to cut a patta’an binding is to use a blade heated to a thousand degrees.  You’re not going anywhere, so I don’t recommend tugging on them too hard, Kryptonian.”  Leaning forward, he reminds her, “You know how to stop this.”

 

Ignoring his suggestion, Kara tugs the bindings.  It’s almost as if she can’t stop herself from doing exactly what he’s warned her not to do.  To no one’s surprise, the bindings tighten, the strap shrinking as is pulls each arm closer to the sides of the huge mattress.

 

“Has she not been trained?” another man questions, this one snacking from a dish being held by a servant.  Judging from his protruding stomach, he could do with a little less snacking.  His other hand rubs at his crotch as though teasing his own cock to response, but having little reaction.

 

“She’s had no real training, Lord Mos,” Mon-El announces to the room.  “Just games.  I’ve been too easy on her by Daxam standards.”

 

“And by royal standards…clearly,” Lord Mos chortles.

 

“I usually find her far more compliant than this,” he says, though he’s not entirely sure from where the words, or the sentiment, come.  His memory of this Kryptonian is frustratingly vague.

 

“The little Kryptonian must be taught that compliance to royalty is compulsory on this planet – to all those who wish to keep their heads.  I find that pain is an excellent teacher, Your Highness,” another man speaks up.  This one’s eyes are dark, his brows tilted downwards so that his forehead creases angrily, his posture is such that Kara might believe he has a titanium rod holding him up instead of spine.  He appears to be a man who enjoys doling out pain.

 

“You are the expert in training, Commander-Lord Raines.  What might you suggest?” Mon-El inquires.  He knows the man well, knows his proclivities, and can guess where his inquiry might lead.

 

“I would begin with clamps,” Raines replies, with a careless shrug.  Like the rest of him, his voice is gruff but also heightened with anticipation – the verbal equivalent of watering at the mouth.

 

“Excellent choice,” Mon-El nods in agreement.  Raines grins as though he’s answered a test question correctly.  “Commander-Lord Raines trains the green recruits aspiring to the Lurian Defense Corps.  A high pain threshold is a prized asset for the Lurians,” the prince explains, his words laced with innuendo.  “And I’m told the women quite enjoy their training, often complaining when it comes time to graduate.  Isn’t that so, Lord Raines?”

 

“It is, Your Highness,” the nobleman confirms, an accomplished leer on his face.

 

Without moving from his place at the foot of the bed, Mon-El nods to a woman, dressed in the sheer gown of an Adept, who pulls something down from the wall of accoutrements.  Coming to stand in attendance beside the bed, the Adept looms over them, hands clasped behind her back, as Mon-El crawls over Kara body.  He lowers himself against her, their skin finally meeting.  Fitting his cock into the crevice where her thighs meet, Mon-El groans with exultation and nestles into their warmth, rolling his hips against her in a tantalizing dry hump meant to tease her.  Had he less than ironclad control, he could spill his seed all over her right now.  Several ladies gasp appreciatively at his movements, perhaps at the sight of his ass and balls from behind, and turning her head, Kara catches sight of several women slipping their hands beneath the hemlines of their skirts.

 

“They won’t allow themselves to come,” he tells her, following her gaze, glancing back over his shoulder as he slowly undulates his pelvis into her thighs again.  “It’s considered selfish on Daxam.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if several of them seek privacy before I’m done with you.  But it’s more likely that they won’t.”

 

“Oh,” she replies, another blush staining her cheeks.  She understands his implication that this entire exercise may devolve into a sexual free-for-all worthy of an ancient Roman feast of Bacchanalia.  Adrenaline flooding her bloodstream has her entire body shaking nervously, as mentally she fights her body’s urge to spread her thighs open wide to cradle his hips.  Searching his face for the Mon-El she knows and loves, she finds none of the intimacy or desperate emotion she’s accustomed to seeing reflected in the steel grey of eyes.  He’s still Mon-El, of that she has no doubt, but there are pieces missing.  Pieces she helped to put there that he’s somehow managed to…tuck away somewhere.  This is a man of different burdens now, but without the heavy loss of his planet’s demise that shadows him in the outside world.

 

As he warned, the memories of their life together which intruded upon his mind have now receded, like the ebb of a winter’s tide, into some unreachable recess.  His recollections strike them both, but then fade back into the darkness for him, leaving only the slightest imprint of light, the way one’s eyes leave a negative image when struck unprepared by the detonation of a flash bulb.

 

The soft, familiar grey of the prince’s irises is now gone, replaced by the hard glint of black pupils with only a sliver of color remaining, just as only a splinter of her Mon-El seems to linger, threatening to slip further away by the moment.

 

This is going to happen, Kara accepts, her eyes scanning the audience.  After all, she begged for punishment, and her body burns for whatever he plans to dish out, not one iota deterred by the crowd of people set to watch and enjoy her penance, nor the alteration of the man determined to provide it.  Even now, in spite of the anxious quivering of her entire body, and the ruthless hardening of the man she is already coming to think of as ‘the prince’, she wants him to fuck her mercilessly.  Her mind tells her that this should be a terrifying and humiliating experience, but her body finds arousal in it unlike any she’s felt previously.  It’s a dichotomy she has trouble reconciling on a logical level, so she makes a conscious decision to heed her baser physical instincts, instead of the clamoring higher brain that often leads her astray.

 

The prince hovers over her, his elbows locked to hold him upright as he rocks his hips into her closed thighs, seemingly content to dry hump her all the way to his climax.  Will that be her punishment?  His legs, on the outside of hers, squeeze together tightly, forcing hers to stay closed.  More and more intrigued by the audience, her eyes cast about, alighting on a nearby man with eyes the shade of emerald green, a shaggy lock of light blonde curls falling carelessly over his eyes, the mere shadow of a ginger beard.  Brushing the lock of hair out of his view, he leans back in his chair, his hands dangling over the arm rests, seemingly content to observe, rather than cranking up his own arousal by touching himself.  Something inside of her sees the familiar in the sparkle of his smaragdine eyes and when the man winks at her, those eyes burning with desire, Kara presses her thighs more tightly together as the greedy, yawning feeling grows in her core.

 

“He wants to fuck me,” she whispers, her voice shaking.

 

“They all want to fuck you, my little Kryptonian,” the prince replies, pausing the rock of his hips.  Her body stiffens beneath him and her bright blue eyes widen.  “Does that frighten you?” he challenges, looking for a hard limit to exploit.

 

Never more aware of her own helplessness, she instinctively tugs at her arms before remembering that the restraints will shrink in response.  Refusing to admit this as a weakness, lest he use it against her to gain the advantage, Kara shakes her head vehemently.  “You can do whatever you like to me,” she says defiantly, but doesn’t look him in the eye.  She can’t recall feeling this frightened, this powerless, not since watching Alex’s plane fall in a fiery descent as she desperately tried to take to the skies to save it.

 

Something sparks in his eyes and he turns his head away before looking back at her, his stubbled jaw ticking with anger.  “You must think the most awful things of Daxam.”

 

Realizing her mistake, she rushes to excuse her implication, “That’s not what I meant.”

 

“When those of age are consenting,” he emphasizes, “we enjoy sex on Daxam, in all of its many forms and intrigues.  Unlike Kryptonians who keep their natural urges carefully in check, and buried under gowns that drape to the floor.  Is it true that Kryptonians blush at the sight of a naked ankle?” he wonders.

 

“No!” she scoffs.  “That’s ridiculous.”

 

“That’s the story that children of Daxam tell when they speak of Kryptonians.  Perhaps we shouldn’t listen to rumors so much.  At any rate, rape is a rare event on Daxam and punishable by death.  We are all sexual beings, but we don’t hold to forcing the unwilling.  Not when there are so many eager participants.  For those types of horrors, you can look to my father.”  Nuzzling into her cheek right next her ears, he whispers enticingly, “But you’d be surprised what some people become willing – even eager – to do once they get a taste of this life…Kryptonian.  If you wish to experience the pleasure with multiple partners, all you’d have to do…is beg me with your pretty little mouth.”

 

Kara shivers, body growing hotter as her hips squirm a bit beneath him.

 

“But for now…our audience will have to content themselves with watching me play with what’s mine.”  He proves his point by lifting one hand from the mattress, his hipbones digging into the crease of her thighs as he slaps her breast. 

 

“Ow!” Kara complains, squeezing her eyes shut, forehead crinkling.  To her surprise, a shot of electricity races straight for her core, and her nipple hardens.  The audience murmurs appreciatively as redness spreads across the side of her breast.  “Mmmmmm,” she hums, pressing her lips together as heat spreads across the abused breast.

 

“Slap it again,” she hears a deep voice hiss, like a prayer to the gods.

 

Grinning, a wild gleam in his eye, their prince complies, slapping her breast just to watch the plump flesh jiggle at the rough contact.  He relishes the rising bright pink on the white canvas that contrasts the darker color of her nipple and areola.  Upon the third slap, Kara’s pelvis jerks in response, causing the head of his cock to slide up her thighs and into the apex of her wet seam, where he all but pummels her swollen clit, causing her neck to bow back as a high-pitched whine escapes from deep within her. 

 

“Naughty girl,” he admonishes with a smirk, switching hands and slapping the opposite breast.  “So naughty.  Say it.”

 

“I’m a naughty girl,” she whimpers.

 

“Again.” Slap.

 

“I’m a naughty girl.  I’m so naughty, daddy.” Slap.

 

“Master,” he corrects.  “Since you aspire so desperately to be my concubine, you should begin by using the correct honorific.”

 

Her mouth opens to protest, but then snaps shut at his head tilt, the prince’s eyebrows rising in non-verbal challenge, reminding her that she’s free to leave any time upon use of another ‘m’ word.  “Master,” she surrenders, feeling the unappealing and unalluring burden of control slip further away.

 

“Louder,” he commands.  Slap.

 

“Mmmmmm,” she moans, the sting spreading all the way down to her toes, which curl in response.  “Master,” she projects, the word dripping easily – erotically – from her mouth as though it belongs there.  Much more erotic than expected.  Kara is more naked before him now than she has ever been and where she thought she might find regret and anxiety, she finds only catharsis.  “I’m so naughty, Master.”

 

“Yes, you are.”  Slap.

 

With each slap, blood rushes into the sensitive tissue of her areola turning her nipples into rigid pebbles that reach upwards towards him, like snakes charmed out of their baskets by the tune he composes.  He adjusts his position, spreading his knees further apart and sitting up on his haunches, so that he can use both hands to deliver sharp, quick blows, designed to create a maximum sting.  Her pelvis thrusts upward with each blow, but his change of position leaves her denied the jab of his glans into her slit.  Instead, brought down by its own weight, his cock juts downwards, the glans just barely brushing against her seam and taunting her with its promise of unbelievable fulfillment.  Thanks to the Daxamite cock ring, it’s grown larger than she’s ever seen it, ever could have imagined an erection could grow – easily as thick in circumference as his wrist and at least two inches longer than usual.

 

Noticing the direction of her gaze, he glances down, judging the weight and size of his tool and the gleam of anticipation in her barely-blue eyes.  So aroused by all of the stimuli, there are only thin rims of cornflower blue around the voids of her black pupils.  “Not quite yet,” he informs her, judging his cock not at full readiness.  “It hasn’t reached its full size yet.”

 

Head reeling with the idea, her mouth gapes open, looking for all the world like she’s waiting for him to slide that organ into her mouth.  “H-Hasn’t reached its f-full size?” she stutters once she’s regained the power of speech.  “How much bigger will it get?”

 

A slow, devilish smile spreads across his face before he answers, “You’ll see, Kryptonian.”  It’s both a purr and a threat.  Leaning forward he places his hands on either side of her head, allowing his cock to lay across her flat belly, so that she can feel the sheer weight of it.  How will that feel slamming into her?

 

As if reading her mind, he answers, “When I stuff this into your tight hole, it will stop the breath in your lungs.  At first, you’ll feel like I’m ripping you apart, invading the deepest part of you, into your womb, but then…when that initial pain subsides and the air returns to your lungs…you’ll beg me to never stop fucking you.  There won’t be a part of you it can’t touch.”

 

“Goddess, yes!” the raven-haired beauty with jeweled pasties sighs, and sinks deeper into her chair.  “If the Kryptonian doesn’t take it, I will,” she purrs, just loud enough for Kara to hear.

 

“Thank you for your kind offer, Lady Breck,” Mon-El replies, as he sits back up without taking his eyes from Kara’s breasts.

 

Kara bucks her hips hard, her eyes now burning with rage.  If she had her powers ‘Lady Breck’ would fear for her life.  If Mon-El’s cock was twice the size she would take it before she’d let Lady Breck anywhere near him.

 

“Such a jealous nestling,” he admonishes, playfully.  The prince’s finger swirls around her belly button before poking inside, unleashing bright sparks of sensation in her abdomen that race straight for her core.  “My little Kryptonian would like nothing more than to tear out your throat right now, Lady Breck.”

 

“That’s a show I might enjoy,” the man with dark eyes and angry eyebrows, Commander-Lord Raines, announces drolly.

 

“I like it when you buck against me, your eyes electric, and your lips pursed so defiantly,” he chuckles, cupping her stinging tits, his long fingers wrapping around them as his thumbs flick her nipples.  “Your body isn’t even trying to hide how much you enjoy this.  It’s like you float on a cloud of pain,” he says, musingly, “instead of drowning in the ocean it can be.”  He withdraws one hand and sinks it between her thighs.  She cries out at the pleasure that streaks through her as he wets his fingers with her honey, holding them aloft to show the room how they glisten.  “You want me fuck you,” he says, his voice softer than the velvet skin of his cock.  “Say it.”

 

“I want you to fuck me,” she complies, her voice breathy while her entire body burns for him.

 

“Perhaps,” he considers, shrugging with one shoulder.  Mon-El tilts his head as he surveys her form.  “But not right now.  I think I’d much rather feast on these.”  Sliding down, he covers her body again with his, before cupping one breast and taking the straining nipple into his mouth.  This is no tender homage to her breast, but a brusque ravishment with lips, teeth and tongue, accompanied with the obscenely loud sounds of suckling, Mon-El grunting and groaning, his hands plumping the flesh of her breasts to ready them.

 

“Mmmmm,” she whines between pressed lips, arching her back and thrusting her breast further into his mouth.  Her breasts and nipples are unfathomably more sensitive from his earlier assault.  Each slap bringing the blood racing to the skin as if in protest, and that blood awakened every nerve ending with which his mouth now toys.  She feels the wetness increase between her thighs with each rough draw of his mouth.

 

Sucking in as much of her breast into his mouth as he can take, his lips create an airtight seal as he draws powerfully upon it, while listening to the secret code of her keening sounds.  Releasing her breast with a wet pop, he captures the nipple between his teeth, worrying it back and forth a few times before tugging it up.  He thinks of what lies ahead, knowing that her breasts will perk, her nipples harden, each time she looks at him after this night.  But then he shakes the thought away, remembering that this must be their last time together – though the distracting pain caused by the cock ring prevents him from remembering exactly why that must be so.

 

Switching to the other breast, he leaves his hand behind on the first to keep it from feeling abandoned.  Suckling, he nurses her like a milk-less mother, before worrying her nipple with his teeth, drawing from her the last bit of sensation that he can on his own.  And when he recognizes his own limits, he holds out a hand without looking away from his task.  The Adept beside the bed drops something to his hand and smiles down at Kara who can only lift one side of her mouth, so intense is the transition of pain into pleasure.

 

Withdrawing with an audible growl, he holds up the device, a mess of chains, with clips on either end.  “Clamps,” he announces, answering her unasked question.

 

On the outside world, she wouldn’t bat an eyelash because the clamps would break before they have an effect on her skin.  But here, her nipples are so impossibly responsive to the touch that she can’t imagine not experimenting with the sensation, even though her breasts are already swollen, both with prolonged arousal and from his very capable manhandling.  Digging her shoulders into the mattress, she offers her breasts up for clamping, and is rewarded with a smattering of applause from the audience.  Unexpectedly, a part of her thrills inside at the show of their obvious approval, her life as a hero having subconsciously trained her to preen at the sound of clapping.  She’s always been a sucker for applause.

 

Each clamp placed on her nipple elicits a gasp – two on each one, facing in opposite directions.  Despite her overly responsive nerve endings, the nipple clamps don’t seem that bad, Kara thinks at first, until he pinches the end of one clamp and it turns like ratchet, tweaking the nipple before falling back into its original setting.  “Rao!” she cries, then bites down on her lower lip to contain the expression.  A tweak of the second nipple has her hips jerking and her clutch grasping for the cock that is out of its reach.

 

Her head thrashes back and forth as the clamps twist automatically in their notches, falling back in place to give her a few seconds of sweet relief before cranking again.  Chest bright pink from his harsh but titillating treatment, Mon-El considers spilling his seed all over his Kryptonian captive, bathing her in it for his own exclusive satisfaction.  Instead, Mon-El dismounts her, kneeling beside Kara, observing how his treatment of her has made her skin glow while taking his cock in hand, teasing it with the tips of his fingers.  Hissing at the contact, more blood rushing inescapably into his shaft, pushing it to a most painful limit.  The stretchy loop on the underside tugs at his testicles, narrowing the escape route for his seed, so that when it does come it won’t be wholly satisfying, reminding him that will take more than a few attempts before his penis will be exhausted from this night’s work.  His urge to ejaculate will become more than mere desire, he knows – the compulsion of it hitting him so hard and so fast, it will be impossible to ignore or deny.

 

“That’s my naughty pet,” he praises, his arousal like heavy gravel in his throat.

 

Through a breach in her eyelids, Kara watches him stroke his erection, teasing it without any intent of offering it what it needs to find gratification.  Nearly frantic to be taken, she burns for that glorious appendage to fill her, stretch her and, sliding her legs open a few inches, she tempts him with a glimpse of the paradise her wet heat offers.  “Put it in me,” she entices, her voice slurring a little.  “Master.”

 

Movement in the wall mirror draws Kara’s attention and her eyes meet those of the older gentleman with silver hair, Counselor Sabin, as he leans a young woman with fiery red tresses back against his chest.  The young woman, no older than twenty, closes her eyes dreamily as the man ruches up the hemline of her skirt to reveal nothing in the way of undergarments, but instead a neatly groomed fire crotch.  His other hand tugs on the straps of her bodice until it falls away, revealing generous, milky white breasts.  Feasting on her neck, he uses one hand to cup a breast while the other he plunges into the delicately groomed nest of red curls between her legs.  All of this he does without breaking eye contact with Kara.

 

Jealousy streaks through her she observes the man using two fingers to tease the young woman’s clit.  In response, the redhead mewls and whimpers, moving her hips in such a way as to press harder against his fingers.

 

As if to torment her further, another man, this one much younger and with movie-star good looks, drops to his knees in front of the chair of a middle-aged woman.  From all outward appearances, she’s a noblewoman of dignity and class, her dress starkly more conservative than those of the other women in the room.  Placing his hands on her knees, he presses them gently, tentatively apart and asks, “Would you like me pleasure you with my mouth, Mistress?”

 

Her conservative façade cracks as dark, sultry eyes tilt down to gaze upon her boy-toy with a favoring glance.  Lightly, she runs her fingers through his silky mass of chestnut hair as he moves her skirt aside, revealing an unseen slit all the way to the hip, invisible against the dark navy of the fabric to all but those who know of its presence.  Freed from the confines of her gown, the woman guides his head between her thighs, leaning her head back against the cushioned chair.  Her submissive, clearly keen to serve her, lifts her legs and hooks them over her shoulders, as he descends upon her wet and waiting arousal.

 

“Not so much that I miss the show,” she warns the young man, carding her hand lovingly through his hair.

 

“As you wish, Mistress,” his muffled reply come from between her thighs.  Kara takes note of his obedience.

 

Clenching her immobile fists amidst her growing frustration as her own wet and waiting arousal remains ignored.  Lust bubbles up from her core in the form of panting breaths as she witnesses the smorgasbord of sex to which the audience devolves; now including a woman, her skin so dark it reflects the light as if brushed with silver, kissing the breasts of another who fists her hands in her partner’s curls, riding the dark woman’s thigh.

 

The moans and groans of the open pleasure of others only serve to make her needier than she’s ever recalled before.  The nipple clamps squeeze the swollen buds again, their dark pink hue having transitioned to a purple, very close to the shade of his engorged shaft.  “Mon-El,” she gasps, pleading.  “I need you.  I need your cock now,” she groans, her back arching, nearly out of her head with craving.

 

The room releases a collective gasp, sexual activity taking a synchronized pause, the boy-toy removing his head from between the conservative woman’s thighs to look back at Kara, horrified.  A twitter of whispers rises that have nothing to do with murmurs of pleasure.

 

“She dares!” huffs the hefty gentleman in the back, his eyebrows rising.

 

“The Kryptonian thinks she makes the demands,” a voice in the crowd giggles.  Despite lifting her head, Kara is unable to locate the source of the giggle, but guesses it belongs to a young woman, perhaps the petite blonde with purple streaks in her pixie-cut hair, leaning her elbow on a chair back in front of her, her chin resting in her hand.  Kara’s hypothesis is proven correct when the woman adds, “Isn’t that just like a Kryptonian?”

 

“She calls the prince by his familiar name,” says a taller woman standing behind the blonde.  She plants an unforgiving smack on the backside of the girl bent forward in front of her, as though to punish her for Kara’s faux pas.

 

“The Kryptonian must be quelled,” offers a man with striking lavender eyes.  He sits to the edge of his chair, his legs spreading wide as he prepares himself to watch whatever comes next.

 

“Quell!” someone calls out, followed by another.  Another voice echoes the sentiment and then another, until the room becomes a unified chant calling for her chastisement.  The only one not joining in the chant is the blonde-haired man with emerald eyes.  He only smiles at her warmly and gives her a nod of encouragement.

 

“You couldn’t be more right,” their prince agrees.  “Her unsanctioned familiarity shouldn’t go unanswered.  Not here and not in front of my most loyal subjects.”  Leaning forward, he whispers out of the audience’s earshot, “Why do you think they stay so loyal?  It’s so they can witness moments like these.”  His hand caresses her damp thigh, coaxing it to open further.  “I love a good quelling,” he adds.

 

Unsure what’s involved in this process, Kara smiles gratefully when his hand strokes her thigh, waiting for his fingers to dip into her aching arousal.  To slide into her hungry cunt, so that she can grip his long fingers tightly as he dives deep.  What she receives instead is the sharp pop of his hand spanking her clit, no gentler than the treatment her ass or her tits received.  “Fuck!” she screams, as tendrils of white-hot electricity wrap around her hips and gather at the base of her spine before traveling up to her scalp.

 

“I do love that word,” their prince announces.  That’s all it takes for the audience to begin muttering it, the prince’s approval of the word making its use now the height of fashion.  “Say it again,” he demands, drawing back to slap her clit again.

 

“Fuck!” she cries, instinctively drawing her legs tightly together to protect the swollen bundle of nerves from the overwhelming stimulus.  The pain turns quickly to pleasure and then back again, the two bleeding together until they are a single indistinguishable animal.  Instead of finding the limits, the boundaries to her sexual kink, she finds only a deeper well of arousal.  It’s like she’s thrown a rock over the lip of a well, and she’s still waiting to hear the splash.  The pain, the audience that makes her the center of attention, the way he dominates her in bed, but loves her so selflessly out of it – together these elements build new structure to the person that is Kara Zor-El – like expanding a home with new rooms.  Rooms that belong to her and Mon-El alone.

 

“When I fuck you…if I fuck you,” he taunts her, “it won’t be because of your demands.  It will be because I have you at my mercy.  Do you understand, Kryptonian?”

 

“Yes, Master,” she nods.  “I was a naughty girl again.”  The fire under her skin and at the ends of her nerves has caused a sheen of sweat to form on her body, unlike any that happens when she has her powers.  Her skin weeps with it, and she finds that it makes her feel even more exposed.

 

“Keep your legs open,” he cajoles, teasing her legs apart with gentle fingers.  At the sound of his soft voice, her legs fall apart like a flower’s petals opening for the sun’s rays.

 

When she doesn’t immediately follow his instructions, he spanks her clit, harder than ever before, with a wet smack.  “Please, Rao!” she moans, pelvis jolting, on the cliff’s edge of her orgasm and needing only his permission to tip over.  Again, her legs close despite his instruction, more for the purpose of squeezing her thighs in search of some small measure of relief from the throbbing deep within her, rather than to escape his guidance.

 

Mon-El looks up at the Adept beside the bed and nods his head.  Curtsying, her hands clasped demurely in front of her and head bowed, she hurries over to the peg wall and pulls down another apparatus.  With another curtsy, she places the long rod-shaped device in his outstretched palms and takes a few steps backwards.

 

Kara can practically hear the audience rubbing their hands together in glee as they enjoy her quelling.  Or rubbing other body parts.  Her anticipation, mixed with a dash of fear – okay, maybe a little more than a dash, if she’s honest with herself—ratchets up a few notches.  She never allows fear to stop her, Kara reminds herself, her entire body quivering as though it’s freezing rather than feeling like it is on fire.  What will he do now?

 

The rod he holds, about two feet long by her guess, has thick, wide loops on either end.  He slides one loop over her foot until it reaches her ankle.  Seeing his intent now, she lifts her other foot, toes pointed, to maneuver it into the loop at the other end of the rod.  “

 

Kara swipes her tongue out, tasting the sweat that gathers on her upper lip.  If it meant pleasing him, getting him to come inside of her and fill her with his seed, Kara would offer anything, do anything.  She would climb over every man and woman in this room to spread her legs for him.  But it did not appear that she would have to.

 

Pressing a button on the rod, the loops tighten around her ankles, much like the nipple clamps, except once constricted to the point of no escape, they do not release.  With the rod placed between her ankles she is unable to comfortably close her legs, neither to seek momentary relief for the throbbing, nor to escape the quelling of her cunt.

 

“Farther, Your Highness,” someone at the back of the room calls out.

 

Gazing down at her lush, red field ready to be furrowed, he chuckles and calls out to the voice, “Having difficulty seeing from back there, Lord Urs?”

 

“Indeed, my prince,” replies the nobleman.

 

“Well I wouldn’t want anyone to miss the best part,” he answers.  Grasping the rod in the center with both hands, he gives it a sharp twist and then presses outward.  Doubling in length, the bar spreads her legs far enough apart to leave her sufficiently exposed to give everyone a view, no matter their vantage points in the room.

 

“Such a lovely pink garden she has,” the man with emerald eyes comments, speaking for the first time. 

 

“Thank Lord Ral, for his kind words, Kryptonian,” the prince instructs.

 

Kara turns her head sharply in surprise, sweat spraying from her brow, and looks the man right in his breathtaking eyes.  So this is Ral?  No wonder he seemed so familiar to her when she first saw him.  Her last glimpse of him had been as a young teen, but since then he had grown into man with broad shoulders and the kind of face that could make a girl’s heart skip a beat.

 

The prince twists the rod again and with another yank her legs spread another foot until her hip joints protest the strain of it.  On the outside, she’s never had to worry about being limber, but here she’s wondering how bad the pain could get if he spreads her further.  Can she even do the splits without injuring herself?

 

“I said…thank Lord Ral for his kind words,” he clips, his voice filled with authority.  “Ral is First among the Lords and should be treated with respect.  And for future reference, Kryptonian, when he speaks, I speak.  What he commands, I command.  His…desires, are my desires.  Are we clear…concubine?”

 

Kara’s mouth goes dry, her eyes darting to Lord Ral, Mon-El’s stepbrother and closest ally.  If she wins this challenge, becoming the prince’s Senya, this man will be given carte blanche access to her as well.  The thought is terrifying, but there’s something else there she hardly dares confess to herself, even to her darkest heart.  It’s exhilarating too, but she shoves that down, because girls like her, Kryptonian girls from good Kryptonian families, aren’t titillated by the thought of being used as a fuck-toy.  They just aren’t, she tells herself, and their clutches don’t grasp greedily at the notion, either.  With an unsteady voice, she obeys the prince’s command, “Thank you for your kind words, Lord Ral.” 

 

After Kara shows the respect Mon-El deems proper, he drops the bar and ambles over to the peg wall, his engorged penis dangling heavily, painfully between his legs as the Adept follows closely behind.  Their heads move together into a huddle, like a sports team discussing the next plan of action.

 

“You’re welcome, Kara,” Ral answers graciously, drawing her attention away from her master.  His lounge is closest to the bed – she notices for the first time – as though he’s afforded the best seat in the house.  So when he stands from his chair he need only take a few steps before sitting on the edge of the bed.  Trailing his fingers down her arms, his knuckles come perilously close to caressing her breast, yet she doesn’t shy away from him or feel disgusted by the thought of his touch, like she should.  Like a good Kryptonian girl should.  In fact, she’s so horny she could almost…crave it, if she let herself.  If her master allowed her.  Placing an index finger beneath her chin he tilts her head upward until their gazes meet.  “Do you wish to be plowed?” he inquires, loud enough for all to hear.

 

“Yes,” she answers, as though she’s drowning and Lord Ral offers her a life vest.  Her breath trembles and she’s almost on the verge of tears, sweat rolling down from her forehead into her hairline.  “Yes, I want that…so much.”  Her response is met with applause from those audience members whose hands are still free for clapping.  In the mirror, she can see that the silver-haired fox has now bent the young woman with long, luscious red tresses over the back of a lounger and fucks her slowly from behind, drawing out their pleasure by not rushing to the finish line.  As if for Kara’s benefits, the woman sighs happily each time he eases his cock into her and, predictably, Kara is awash in envy.

 

Wiping the sweat from her brow with a handkerchief, Ral leans closer and drops his voice to a whisper.  “He’ll have to do his best to break you before he finishes.  Give them a good show,” he informs her, a sadness filling his eyes as he cups her cheek with his hand, caressing the cheekbone with his thumb.  “If he shows you mercy, any one of these idiots could run and tell the King, and that wouldn’t go well for him or, I fear…for you.  I’m the only one in this viper’s nest he can trust.  Do you understand?”

 

“Break me?” she whispers, a new shot of adrenaline pumping through her veins.

 

“You’ll see, sunshine,” he nods, more of a promise than a warning.  “You’ve been so brave thus far…and so strong.  It takes an enormous amount of courage simply to test your limits, let alone find them.  Personally…I’m hoping you don’t beg off.  Many Adepts would have cried ‘Mercy’ at the quelling.”

 

When Mon-El returns to the end of the bed, and Lord Ral shares a silent communication with him, the kind that springs from a life full of silent communications.  Gracing her with a last gentle smile, he withdraws his hand and then leaning down, places a kiss on her forehead.  Finally, he sighs, “Gods of Val-Or, what I wouldn’t give to plunder your rim.”

 

Not entirely certain what that means, Kara swallows and says, “Thank you for the compliment, Lord Ral.”

 

“She does learn quickly, your little nestling,” Ral says proudly.

 

“Senya, now,” Mon-El revises, pointedly.

 

With that, Ral reaches for the rod between her ankles and, bending her body in half at the hips, pulls the bar over her head.  Kara is upended, legs spread wide like a gymnast frozen in the midst of a flashy floor routine, her petals, thick with nectar to attract her mate, call out for him.  Like he’s done it a thousand times before, Ral locks the bar in place by clipping it to the large metal ring in the center of the patta’an hide strap that keeps the restraints anchored to the bed.  Without tugging on the restraints, and thus causing them to react, Kara is able to extend her fingers enough to grasp her toes and the balls of her feet.

 

“Does that hurt, darling Kara?” Ral inquires sweetly.

 

“Yes,” she nods, making an effort to breathe evenly in a slow pants to control the pain.

 

“Shall I loosen it for you?” he reaches for the anchor ring, his voice and eyes soft and kind.

 

Kara sees his question as a test, an offer to raise the white flag without consequences, barring a room full of disappointed audience members.  Refusing to surrender (or disappoint her viewing public, if she’s being honest), Kara shakes her head resolutely and answers, “No.”

 

“Good answer,” he sighs wistfully, trailing his knuckles lightly down the back of her calf, down to her knee, all the way to her hamstring.  She shudders from the light touch, her attraction to him growing from the promise of gentleness he delivers.  As if sensing this new wave of arousal his touch sparks in her, he leans down, his face inches from her cunt and breathes deeply.  “Gods!  I love the smell of a woman aroused,” Ral comments before heading back to his chair.  A murmur of agreement and approval arising in the room.  Beyond her field of vision someone slaps a bare ass, and the recipient giggles.

 

“Thank you Lord Ral, for your compliment,” Kara repeats, this time with a genuine, though quaky, smile through trembling lips.  He responds with a wink as he drops gracefully into his chair and crosses his legs, settling himself like he’s about to binge-watch Netflix.

 

“She’s quite extraordinary when she comes,” Mon-El announces to the room, “like the goddess Lure in the throes of passion.  Would you like to see?”

 

The entire room seems to scramble for a better position from which to watch.  Kara prays for his cock, but knows she won’t get it.  As he settles himself on the bed, he sits slightly off the side, so that the audience won’t miss anything.  Teasing her inner thighs with his hand, he comes within centimeters of her arousal a few times, practically purring with the glee of watching her body react to his movement.  Her pelvis undulates as if by doing so she could draw his fingers into her wet heat.

 

“Please, oh please,” she whines.

 

Taking pity on her, and because his cock, nearing its own limits, screams at him to move things along, he slides his middle finger into her wet heat.  First one knuckle deep and then another, until finally its all the way in, her inner muscles clasping at him as though attempting to take his entire arm.  “Hmm,” he muses at the thought, withdrawing enough to add a second finger, this time his index finger, to the proceedings.  “Someone needs to make a mess,” he finishes, curling his fingers upwards until he finds the jewel of tissue, rough with clusters of nerve endings.

 

Wrists anchored to the floor and legs anchored to the bed, Kara is incapable of escaping the onslaught of sensation that besieges her when his fingers pumping in and out of her, particular about hitting that special spot that’s like touching a live wire inside of her.  Over and over he rubs against it, his hand soaked in her juices, until she feels that feeling like she’s about to burst down below.  As best as it can, her lower body attempts to curl in on itself, the contraction that comes before every supernova.  “Oh Rao!  Yesyesyesyesyesyes,” she chants until there’s no more air left in her lungs for words.  Her jaw slackens, her neck arching, but still she hovers on the precipice.

 

“Show them what a messy girl you are,” he finally commands.

 

Nonsensical sounds issue from her mouth when she comes, squirting ambrosia upwards like a living fountain to the enthusiastic shouts of approval from the audience.  With a few swipes of his hand across her labia, the prince coaxes another stream of liquid forth.

 

“Bravo,” claps the conservative woman, the submissive between her thighs undeterred by the show behind him.

 

Her channel still occupied with release, Kara weeps with gratitude, her body now covered in sweat and her own ejaculate.  Sniffing, she tucks her head into her shoulder and attempts to catch her breath.

 

Offering her no respite, Mon-El slides his fingers back into her soaking wet cunt, adding a third a finger this time, spreading them wide to test her stretch.  Her inner muscles clamp down on them, but eventually begin to taper off and give way to this new invasion.  Once her aftershocks end, he adds his pinky finger to the mix and slides them all in up to the last knuckle.

 

Surprised by the addition of the third finger and then the fourth, Kara pants harsh spurts of air as she watches what he’s doing via the mirrors on the ceiling.   When he withdraws just enough to tuck his thumb into his palm and press his hand back into her, she balks when she feels her body resist.  “Master, I don’t think—“ she begins.

 

“If you can’t take this, you won’t be able to take my cock,” he warns her.  “Then I’ll have to bend Lady Breck over right in front of you.  Or perhaps I’ll choose Lady Max after she’s drained Sabin of all he has to give.  Is that what you want, Kryptonian?”

 

“No!  Please don’t,” she begs, shaking her head wildly.  “I’ll take it.  I’ll take anything.”  Laying her head down and closing her eyes, she makes a conscious mental effort to relax her inner muscles and make space for him.

 

Giving her only a few seconds to relax, he presses onward, twisting his hand back and forth, like opening a door knob, until finally his protruding knuckles pop into her and he’s able to slide in up to his wrist, his hand being crushed by the tightness of her passage.  It will be a testament to his prowess if he doesn’t spurt like a schoolboy the moment he enters her.  The audience, having gone breathlessly silent (but for a few pleasurable moans), cheers and hollers in celebration of this achievement.  “Yes,” the prince purrs.  “That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”

 

“Unh-unh,” she replies, shaking her head.  He’s all the way inside of her up to the wrist and she can hardly believe it, her eyes widen with awe.  She clenches her muscles around him as though trying to feel each individual finger.

 

“I didn’t understand that, Kryptonian,” he clips curtly, his eyebrows turning into an angry straight line.  He withdraws his hand past the knuckles and then pushes back into her with another deep stretch and a squelchy pop.

 

“No, Master,” she answers with a cringe as he stretches her core beyond anything she ever thought realistic.  “It wasn’t so bad.”  It stings and burns, but her level of personal lubricant assists as his full hand disappears inside of her for a fourth time.

 

“Gods, you are so naughty and eager…it feels like your cunt would swallow me whole if that were possible.”  With his unoccupied hand, he runs his thumb along his painfully sensitive penis.  Stretched to the limit, the skin is shiny and thin, offering a view of the veins and the musculature running beneath, the color now that of a deep bruise.  He has lengthened to an impressive length and girth such that his own hand is unable to close around its circumference.  He doubts, if he demanded it now, that his Kryptonian captive could get much more than the head into her mouth.

 

He needs to come a lot to relieve the pressure, and he’ll need to come soon.

 

This time when he pulls out his hand, he doesn’t dive back in, but instead uses her juices to lubricate his phallus, giving her hope that finally she’s soon going to feel that monstrosity pinioning her.  Body tiring quickly, joints aching from the restraints, Kara has never felt more excited or needy…or alive.

 

Mon-El sidles up closer to her, sitting up on his knees.  Restrained as she is, her rear-end is lifted slightly off the bed, putting some strain in her hips.  He’s about to add to it.  Grasping the base of his elephantine cock, he smacks the monster against her clit, causing her hips to jerk and shimmy.  “It is rumored that Lady Breck has had more than nine hundred lovers,” he teases, “so don’t you worry if you can’t take it all.  She’s ready to offer her services in your stead.”

 

“Like hell, Master,” she grates out between clenched teeth.

 

“I do love her spirit, brother,” Ral chimes in.

 

A sudden boldness streaking through her, she throws down the gauntlet, “Are you scared it will fit, Master, or scared it won’t?”

 

The audience ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaaahhhhs’, taking note of the concubine’s challenge.

 

The prince’s smile morphs into a predatory grin.  “My dear Kryptonian…when I’m done with you, you won’t have the wherewithal to throw such gauntlets.  Believe me…I will make it fit.”

 

“Prove it,” she retorts.

 

Ral hoots and claps his hands.

 

The prince's eyes go nearly black with lust, as the look on her face challenges him.  Pressing his lips together with determination, he nods and growls, “Just remember…you begged for it.”

 

 

****

Chapter Text

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching

Author: gldngr7

Rating: Explicit

 

Feedback:  Encouragement and constructive criticisms are always welcome.  Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

 

Author’s Notes: I live for the comments. 

 

Chapter 8/?

 

 

Her eyes widen as he maneuvers the tip of his englutted cock to her opening, her adrenaline spiking anew as she licks here lips in anticipation.  Finally!  It’s larger even than his wrist now, closer to the size of his forearm; it’s going to hurt, and she can’t wait. 

 

Why is she like this?  Why does pain arouse her so deeply?  Is it because, on the outside world, it’s a stranger that visits so rarely and leaves no trace of its presence when it departs?  Is it because, in her darkest moments of self-discovery, her empowered invulnerability sometimes causes her to question whether she is even a ‘real person’?  How can she be a real person when she is unable to experience the full range of human experience?

 

It began with small steps of discovery; a pull of her hair, a rough squeeze of her breast, the sharp sting of a palm on her ass, and she learns, with each new encounter, that the more pain he inflicts the more alive she feels.  The more like a ‘real girl’ she becomes.  Where is the limit?  And between the two of them…who is the true deviant?  She suspects it isn’t Mon-El.

 

His little Kryptonian is here to be punished—deserves to be punished—and such chastisement precludes gentleness or any show of mercy.  Unless she cries out for it, thus putting an end to her tribulation since the punishment can only go as far as she will allow.  Should she cry mercy, her sentence will be commuted to banishment.  Thus, Mon-El considers his plan of action as he gives his cock the barest taste of the wet heat that promises paradise.

 

But plunging into her is no simple matter when her sheath is so tight, and his steel is this large.  At first, it will be like trying to stuff his meat into a closed fist, until her passage is able to adjust and mold around him.   No matter her desires, or the clear level of arousal, her body will be unyielding when he enters her.  This is not lovemaking, he reminds himself.  Though the details are hazy to him now, he remembers he’s meant to be driving her away.  Showing her the worst of himself so she leaves this place.  Gentleness has no place in these proceedings, as it might, were his partner an Adept on the verge of crying mercy.

 

His cock and balls scream at him.  It is beyond time for teasing now.  Instead it is time to punish her with more pain and more pleasure than she has ever borne before; for as long as his cock will hold out, or until she surrenders, whichever comes first.  He will show her the beast he has inside, the one Father forced him to become, so that when she regains the strength he will take from her, she will run from the place without a backwards glance or a single regret.

 

“Impale her,” Sabin grunts, as he does the same to the gasping, keening Lady Max bent over in front of him.  Earlier he fucked her languorously, almost as if he was bored, but now his hips slap furiously against hers, a rich grunt rising from his chest with each unrelenting thrust.

 

“Impale her,” concurs Commander-Lord Raines.

 

Mon-El positions himself carefully, one hand digging into the mattress just beneath her armpit, as the other plays guide to his penis.  “You will take it all, Kryptonian,” he demands.  “Every last inch.  Scream out all you like, if you must.  There’s only one word that can stop me now.  Say the word, so that I know you know it.”

 

“Mercy, Master,” she pants out, her heart racing so fast it feels as though it will burst from her chest.

 

“You say it when you want this to end.”

 

“Never,” she shakes her head confidently, her voice steady for the first time since this began.  “I will beg for your cock, and I will beg for you to fuck me, but I won’t beg for you to stop.  Not ever.”

 

“We’ll see,” he replies, a part of him hoping she’s right.  But he’s had a wide and varying education on the inflicting of pain, and the receiving of it.  He stares into her eyes, wanting to see the reaction there when he impales her.  Wants to see if the rabid sparkle there dims, or if it burns brighter.  Mon-El takes a few slow and steady breaths, because he knows his own lungs will evacuate when he’s surrounded, encased, in the tight fist of her cunt.  Without a command, Kara finds his rhythm and matches her breathing tempo to his, finding it more soothing than the panting that leaves her lightheaded.

 

The moment their breathing synchronizes, Mon-El snaps his hips, putting the full force of his weight behind the thrust.  He pushes past the resistance of her inner muscles that fight his invasion, until he’s buried to the hilt, the tip of his cock touching the head of her womb.  He’s inside of her deeper than he’s ever been before, the scorching heat of her and the impossibly tight grip she has on him combine to make him feel like climaxing before he’s even put in the decent effort of a few pumps.

 

“Grrrggghhhhh,” he groans above her, his entire body fighting off the urge to come.  It’s a good thing the device looped around his balls prevents it from being that easy.  He’ll have to work for it – each and every time.  Until they’re both exhausted.

 

It is exactly as he described it, the pain of his invasion stopping her lungs from working.  She can neither take in air, nor expel what’s trapped within.  All she can do is gape like a landed fish, her eyes rolling back into her head.  Just as promised, he’s ripping her in two, sundering her with the python-like beast between his legs.  Immediately, her body tries to reject him, to push him out, but her muscles in this place are no match for his strength, or the power he purposefully wields against her.  Her eyes sting with tears, spilling down her temples in record time as she gulps at the burning pain of being so forcefully stretched, the bitter taste of adrenaline mixing with the saltiness in the back of her throat.

 

Without warning, and without permission, she climaxes; her toes curl and tear away from her fingers’ grip as her whole world turns to blinding white light, her ears deaf to all but the pounding of her heartbeat.  Her heels push upward, but her quivering legs are held fast by the thick ring to which the spreader is attached.  So aroused by the searing pain and the masterful, remorseless manner in which he claims her, her body simply reacts in the only way it can.  It’s all she can do as her channel convulses around him, rippling ecstatically until she’s certain this is how she will die, climaxing while her legs spasm uncontrollably in protest of their confinement.  Jaw clenched as though her orgasm has extended all the way to her mouth, a primal scream is released through her gritted teeth.

 

When the world slowly fades back into focus, she hears the twitters and disapproving murmurs of the audience.  Kara looks up at the prince, her master, eyelids blinking dreamingly as she brings him into focus.   Too late, she realizes her mistake as she takes in the angry furrow between his hard, straight eyebrows.  She can hear more than one observer tsking disapprovingly. 

 

With a sound that resembles a mixture of a disappointed groan and an angry growl, Mon-El pulls out of her and sits back on his haunches.  He would shove her away from him, were she not thoroughly held in place.

 

“Oh no,” she weeps, the lump in her throat impossible to swallow around.  “I didn’t mean to.  It just happened.  It’s just that you’re so big…and the pain was so…right.”  His cock stretched her so wide and so painfully, yet his withdrawal brings her no relief, only an emptiness that is now greater than ever before.  “It was an accident,” she sobs, her voice begging for forgiveness.  “Please don’t be mad.”

 

“’Don’t be mad’,” he mimics coldly.  “’Don’t be mad’?”  Turning towards the audience he throws up his arms.  “I think she wants me to be mad,” he huffs, theatrically.  “I think she wants me to turn into a rabid beast, provoked by her tiny acts of rebellion.  Wouldn’t you agree?”

 

The room fills with murmurs of agreement, and the sound of Kara’s, “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry….”

 

“Some nestlings know, deep down, that they need more correction, more training, than others.  They break the rules so that you’re forced to be harder on them,” Lord Raines points out, nodding sagely.  “I would agree, Your Highness.  This Kryptonian nestling is being difficult on purpose.  The occasional challenge of tactics or treatment is one thing, and can even be fun, but she’s flouting your authority, and that must not stand.”

 

“Yes,” the prince agrees, loftily.  “That is why we are all here, after all, isn’t it?  To correct this Kryptonian for her misdeeds…and to show her who she truly is.”

 

“Hear, hear,” shouts a voice from the gallery.

 

No one defies him this way without facing consequences.  No one.  It matters not how beautiful or how eager they are.  Arrogance rises up in him, shining forth in his eyes, and his lip curling upwards with a cruel twist.  His shift in demeanor is subtle but obvious and it sends a shiver of prescience down Kara’s spine straight to her core.  Her mistake has opened the door to release something in him she’s only caught glimpses of in the past.  Something he keeps carefully controlled as though afraid it will frighten her away like a skittish little bunny.

 

He will offer no leniency now and she would have it no other way.

 

“It won’t happen again, Master,” she sniffles, offering him the emotional contrition the dominant side of him needs, whether he will accept it or not.  “I promise.”

 

His mind already formulating a plan, Mon-El climbs from the bed and stalks over to the peg wall, ignoring the aching pain between his legs as he removes a new implement from the wall.  Rolling it in his palm, it is six shiny, metal spheres the size of ping-pong balls strung closely together.  Yes, he will start with this; however, as his eyes scan numerous apparatuses on the wall, he knows it will only be the beginning and that this punishment will take its time playing out to the end.  “I will show you a well of pleasure mixed with pain that will seem without end, but you will not take your pleasure without my explicit permission.  Do I make myself clear, Kryptonian?”

 

“Yes, Master.”

 

“I will exhaust you until you pass out,” he promises her, his voice ominously low.  “And then I will wake you and take you again with new purpose.  Do you understand?”

 

“Yes, Master,” she gasps, her lungs barely able to breathe from the thrill of it.  Kara tells herself to be afraid, to fear what she doesn’t know is coming, but her blood exchanges exhilaration for fright, like a case of mistaken identity.

 

“All you have to do is cry ‘mercy’ and everything will come to end,” he reminds her.

 

At last it occurs to her just how high the stakes really are.  To ‘cry mercy’ is not merely an admission of defeat in the bedroom, it is a white flag to their relationship.  It is a word that will divorce them in his mind, and she knows that he’s had every intention from the very beginning to force that word from her so that he can push her away.  He simply hadn’t expected her to withstand the presence of the audience, the breast torture, the quelling, the wrist restraints, the spreader bar, and the sheer colossal size of his cock.  But she endures it all, blooming rather than withering as expected, bending against the force of his will instead of breaking, and in the process, learning more about who she truly is with each turn of the screw.

 

“No mercy,” she insists.  Her skin is soaked with sweat, reflecting the light, as the beads roll down into hidden crevices before finding their way to the velveteen bed covering beneath her.  She is on fire, within and without.  It’s no surprise the room is like a hot box, with a total of 28 people, each generating their own heat, some just by their presence and others through their own carnal activities.  As if reading her thoughts, the silver haired man finally lets the red-haired temptress climax, which she does with a mewling cry, her mouth shaped into an ‘O’, and her eyes rolling back into her head.  He’s not far behind, his entire body stiffening, throwing back his head as he shoots his load into her and yanking back on her hair as he does so.  Noting that while that is all very titillating to watch, Kara believes it too tame for her liking.  “No mercy,” she reiterates, her voice strong and certain.

 

Mon-El, too, shines with sweat, finding the heat comforting like an old friend.  He considers offering his captive a refreshing glass of Ankarian Ambrosia, but then decides it can wait.  He wants to bring her closer to the brink of exhaustion before offering replenishment.  Looking over her, from the foot of the bed, he holds up the implement for all too see.  Murmurs of approval and a few conservative claps rise from the crowd.  Tilting his head back, he makes a show of dropping the balls into his mouth, moving them about to lubricate them with his own saliva. 

 

Climbing onto the mattress he considers the logistics, noting that this would be much easier if she were on her stomach, but that would have to wait until later.  He can make this work with a little elbow grease.  Drawing the large beads from his mouth, one at a time, he dangles them in front of her like a magician showing his cards before performing a disappearing trick.  Explaining nothing, he uses his free hand to grab and massage one globe of her bruised backside.  Pulling her cheek one side he holds the first bead up to the tight rim of muscles protecting her anus.

 

“Wait!  What are you—“

 

“You’re going to take these up your ass,” he interrupts matter-of-factly.  “Unless you’d rather cry mercy.”  After waiting a moment for her response, he tilts his head, “Hmmm?”

 

Kara locks her lips tight and shakes her head.  They’ve never done anything like this, never even talked about it, but she’s not about to cry mercy over something without at least trying it first.  Not that she would ever cry mercy, even if she found her pain limit and he pushes her beyond.  Even if he demands she spread her legs and take on everyone in the room.  She will never give up on him.

 

With his thumb, Mon-El presses the first bead in, wedging it past the resistance.  Accepting where this is will lead, Kara relaxes her anus allowing the second bead to pass more easily, followed by the third and then, in quick succession, the final three.  Filled with a new sense of fullness, she clamps down her muscles on the beads, doing her best to wriggle her ass so that they will settle comfortably.

 

“So slutty,” he comments, referring to her willingness and even eagerness to take something in the ass.  The wedge itself was tight and he had to use some force to get the beads in, even after she relaxed for him.  It occurs to him that he’s being far too delicate in his references to her eagerness.  She is a rare woman, especially for an off-worlder.  There are many like her on Daxam, Lady Breck for example, born and bred here who know no different and are lucky enough to no know no censure.  But for a girl like Kara, a good Kryptonian girl, her shame at learning and accepting her true nature, while celebrated here on Daxam, will surely make her think twice about making her life here.  It’s all in the cultural perspective, he realizes.  But if he wants to push her away, he will need to strip away every ounce of what makes him a gentleman.  He will need to cease being politick with her.

 

“Do you know what you are, Kryptonian?” 

 

“No, Master,” she replies, shaking her head.

 

“Someone who loves fucking more than breathing.  Someone who can’t get enough.  Someone who’ll beg for it every chance they get.”  A slow grin of wickedness spreading across his face, he says, “Such a lovely little whore you are, and now your gods-given compulsion is all mine to use as I will.”

 

Kara knows what he’s trying to do, that he’s trying to drive her away with his words, his attempts at degradation, but in some ways, she feels as though she’s growing closer to him than ever before.  When he calls her a whore, something thrills inside of her, as if he’s accepted her for everything that she is learning to be, and revels in it.  She is a whore for him.  If a whore is someone who refuses to put an arbitrary limit on his or her sexual experiences, based on what a given society tells them is acceptable, then she pleads guilty.  She is taking the word and making herself powerful with it.  Squeezing her anal muscles around the beads inside of her and celebrating the full sensation they provide, she gazes up her at her master, showing him her trust.  “Thank you, Master.”

 

“Bravo, Kara,” Ral praises, clapping his hands.  Mon-El shoots daggers at him with his eyes, but the blonde man merely shrugs and smiles.  “One point to Kara, brother,” he taunts, clearly indicating that he’s on Kara’s side.  Ral wants her to stay, to reach Mon-El and take him from this place and for that, she will be forever grateful to this mental avatar. 

 

“Thank you,” she whispers, her throat grating with dryness.

 

“He thinks he’s breaking you, Kara.  He doesn’t yet know how wrong he truly is.”

 

“Shut up, Ral!” Mon-El commands.  He’s miscalculated her reaction to his attempts to earn her disdain…again, and the frustration grinds in his chest.

 

Spreading his hands out in mock surrender, Ral leans back into his chair, lacing his fingers together before resting his chin upon them, a smug expression on his face.  He may have lost the battle, but the war is still in play.

 

Frustrated by the way Ral has sided with her, bolstered her while he’s trying to secure her departure, Mon-El climbs atop her again, one hand on the mattress while the other aligns the head of his cock at her entrance once more, stuffing himself in about an inch deep.  She hisses at the excruciating, ripping pleasure of his assault, and taking the hand from his shaft, he slaps her breast.  “Do you like the way he looks at you, Kryptonian whore?”  Another slap.  “Do you?  Tell me the truth or Lady Breck gets this cock.”

 

Warring internally with the answer she should provide and the one she knows is the truth, Kara presses her lips together to prevent any answers from slipping out unbidden.  All she wants is for him to drive home like he did before, so deep into her core that he slammed the opening of her womb with a force that sent tendrils of pain shooting through her and sparking her forbidden orgasm.  All she wants is that delicious feeling of being torn asunder by his bull-sized member.  But instead of diving in deeper he pulls out again, scrambling from the bed.  Tied down so completely as she is, Kara has no way to draw him back to her.

 

“My Lady Breck, pull up your dress and bend over the chair!”  The entire room gasps, but the noblewoman does not hesitate to follow his command, ruching her short dress up to her breasts and bending over to grasp the arms of her plush chair.  Spreading her legs as he sidles up behind her, he lines his cock up with her waiting clutch.  Kara can only watch as Lady Breck prepares to steal what’s hers.  The usurping noblewoman turns her smug, smiling face towards Kara, and presses her hips back until her wet heat touches the head of his cock, licking her lips to add insult to injury.

 

“Yes!” Kara screams her confession, her breath catching as tears gather.  “Yes, I like the way he looks at me.”

 

The prince grabs the lady’s hips, preparing to impale the eager warmth on his shaft – in fact, willing himself to do it, but finding himself unusually, incomprehensibly, reluctant.  Kara pulls against her restraints which is mistake because they yank back at her until she feels as if her arms might dislocate.  “Tell me…” he demands, the whole room holding its collective breath, “why do you like the way he looks at you, Kryptonian?” her prince demands. 

 

“Because I’m a whore, Master,” Kara confesses.  “A thirsty little whore.  Your thirsty little whore.”

 

At her admission, the prince steps away from the Lady Breck as though she’s a bomb he’s just defused, the noblewoman pouting at her missed opportunity.  But before she can become too disappointed, Lord Raines steps up behind her, whips his sizable cock out of his linen pants and lines it up with her core.  With a shrug of capitulation from the lady, he plunges in, his hips smacking against hers, both of their heads thrown back in ecstasy at his forcefulness.

 

“I’m a thirsty whore,” Kara murmurs like a prayer, finding salvation in the word, instead of insult.  The word is what she makes of it, she decides.  It celebrates her right to pleasure, in any form she can get it, even if that means luxuriating in pain.  “I’m a naughty whore.”

 

“That’s right, Pet,” Mon-El encourages, wasting no time resuming his position between her legs.  “And whores like it rough, don’t they?”  He’s stuffing his cock into her again and she hisses at the hungry, gluttonous pain of it.

 

“Yes,” she whimpers, as he stretches her entrance gloriously, her labia barely finding its way around the intruding shaft.  “Whores like it rough.”

 

“Whore don’t want gentle,” he says, smacking her breast.

 

“Whores don’t want gentle,” she echoes, shaking her head.

 

With that, he snaps his hips, his ass turning to stone as he pushes his way into her.  She is even tighter this time, thanks in part to the anal beads – beads he can feel through the thin wall of muscle between her rectum and her clutch.  So thin is the skin of his tortured cock, he can practically feel the coolness of the metal.  His rod is so sensitive, as her inner walls suction around him to create an airtight seal.   Mon-El briefly loses himself in the overpowering sensations of her heat.  He accepts the pain of it, but revels in the carnal pleasure added by the pressure of her passage.  “So tight,” he groans.  “Such a tight fucking hole for me.”

 

“Thank you for your compliment, Master,” she replies, her breath so shaky she can barely get the words out.  He’s so big he strokes every nerve ending in her channel, the head of his cock butting up against her cervix, adding a delicious blunt pain to the burning, stretching feeling.  His pubic bone presses into her swollen, overstimulated clit.  Her inner muscles clamp involuntarily and suddenly the fluttering begins.

 

“Don’t you come, Pet,” he commands, wedged so tightly inside of her he is unable to miss the signal of an approaching climax.  He needs his own relief and she is yet to learn her lesson from the last time.  Her hands fist in their restraints, the only thing she can do to ward off the impending release.  Mon-El pulls out and snaps back in, entering harder this time than the first, burying himself to the hilt until he can feel his cock hitting the mouth of her womb. 

 

“If you come….” he retreats again, and snaps back in like a rubber band pulled taut and then returning to its home position.  His hips crash into hers with a grunt from both of them. “I will force you on your knees…uunngghh.”  Another retreat and plunge with a grunt.  “Gag you…make you watch me...fuck every willing person…in this room.”

 

With every broken phrase he leaves her, only to come back with rending force, and Kara happily takes every wide inch of it with a satisfied grunt.  Along with his gigantic tool plunging in and out of her, she can feel her rectum clamping its muscles around the heavy, metal beads, adding to the riot of sensation in her body.  Slamming her eyes closed, Kara tries not to think about how marvelous it all feels.  “I won’t,” she promises frantically, unsure if she can even keep her word.  “I won’t come.”

 

So tight is her cunt, he can only speed up marginally, finding his rhythm in slow withdrawals followed by brutal plunges back into her waiting, clasping heat.  It suits him fine though, as the speed of his thrusts is less important than the force by which he takes her.  He craves the sight of seeing her so powerless against his bombardment, but even more he loves the sight of her willingness to be so…for him.

 

“I won’t come.  I won’t come.  I won’t come,” she chants with each pillaging thrust as his sweat drips upon her chest, like the first fat drops of an anticipated rainstorm. 

 

Each retreat is accompanied by the squelching sound of the breaking seal followed by the smack or their pelvises clashing, adding his grunts and her whines to the symphony of noises their bodies compose together.  “Don’t come,” he commands, spanking her breast, and watching her skin flush a deeper red as she tries to hold back.  For himself, the build of electricity begins at the base of his spine and wraps its way around his hips, snaking towards his thighs and then up to his balls until at last—

 

Uuunngghhh,” he groans, the muscles of his back seizing as he bathes her womb with his seed.  The release of pressure is immediate as he spills into her, still stroking into her unrepentantly.  “Uuuunnnggghhhh,” he groans again, louder and more protracted this time as another stream escapes.

 

Still holding off her own pleasure as her master commands, Kara takes solace in observing the bliss on his face when he throws his head back and lets go, knowing that it is her gift to him.  Just as he has given her a gift.  She feels the wet gush of his spunk splashing against her womb, and gasps in joy, recalling what it felt like the one time it happened in the outside world.  When the second splash hits her cervix, she closes her own eyes to float on the bliss of it, wishing she could lock her legs around his waist and hold him inside, so that none could escape.  After his climax, she seems confused when he stays buried inside of her, his dick still as hard as granite.

 

“The device I wear will keep me hard for hours, remember?” he explains.  “I would expect no rest for a while if I were you.”  His climax, the first of an untold number, helped relieve his hot need for a few moments, giving him that blissful white-out for two seconds, but no sooner has the white-out cleared than the pressure builds again, hotter and needier than ever. 

 

And that’s how the Callus Band works, building a man’s need until the wearer loses all sense and knows only the drive to fuck like an animal, until the body is simply worn out.  “I’m going to fill you with my seed until it’s spilling out of you.  Dripping down your legs for days,” he says, though whether he’s warning her or making a vow to her, even he is unable to discern.

 

“Yes,” she consents with the sigh.  “Fill me up, Master.”

 

Unlocking his elbows, he drops down to his forearms, his knees digging into the mattress as he rocks his pubic bone against hers.  Kara whines as his pelvis places more pressure on her already strained hip joints.  The pain is present but overwritten by the pleasure of his cock buried inside of her, the sensation of his sweat covered stomach now rocking against hers, and his pubic bone bearing down on her clit.  Determining that this position offers him ample leverage and range of motion for his pelvis, he draws back and resumes the punishing pistoning of his cock.

 

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” chants the crowd.  Commander-Lord Raines himself picks up the tempo of the chants, pillaging Lady Breck to the accompaniment of her pleasure sounds.  Her lady-like whimpers are far more delicate than the primal grunts coming from the prince’s Kryptonian whore.

 

Mon-El picks of his pace, digging his hands under her head to grip at the hair on her scalp, tugging at it until her neck bows backward.  It is soaking wet with perspiration.  He covers her mouth with his to briefly taste the sound of her pleasure.

 

Unngghh…uunngghh…uunngghh….” She grunts with each snap of his hips against her pelvis, each deep plunge of his skilled penis.  He commands her with it – rules her until she knows that it owns her.  “RaoRaoRaoRao….” She chants on each harsh breath that exits her lungs when she finds her words.  “Don’t stop, don’t stop, never stop!”

 

“I told you, you would beg me never to stop,” he grimaces, barely hanging onto his sanity as he buries himself impossibly deep over and over again.    “I’m going to fill you up again soon,” he vows, already feeling the pressure in his balls and at the base of his spine reach a peak.  He tucks his head into her shoulder and growls, “And you’re going to beg me for more.”

 

Uunnnggghhh…so…good…Master,” she whines in his ear, as he hammers her passage.  Without a doubt her thighs will be bruised, but that will be something to admire in the mirror later.  Reminded of the mirror, Kara gasps and looks up at the ceiling, watching over his shoulder as the muscles of his ass bunch and release, bunch and release, as he fucks her.  The view of his broad, toned back, the muscles slithering under his skin like snakes in a tight bag, is a work of art that she wants to burn into her brain.  If her hands were free, she would have them on his ass, encouraging him to go harder, go faster.  When she gets him into the outside world, they are having a mirror installed in the ceiling of her loft so she can always watch him fuck her.

 

He stiffens above her, a second release upon him.  He growls into her ear as his entire body goes rock hard, gripping her hair until it feels as though he will tear it from her scalp.  “Fuuuuuuuck!” he groans just as she feels his hot spunk flood the mouth of her womb again.

 

“Please,” she whines, his release scorching her.  “I need more, Master…give me more of your hot cum,” she pleads, just as he demanded, and happy to do so if it pleases him.  But also because the feeling of his ejaculate jetting into her fills her with a happiness she can’t explain.

 

With another withdrawal and relentless drive back into her increasingly wet haven he bestows more of his seed upon her, sensing it eject so forcefully he feels a full moment of relief before the pressure begins to build again.  He loves to hear her beg for more.  More of his cock and more of his cum – more speed and harder, harder, harder.  Loves that mewling, baby-girl beg mixed with those deep grunts when the head of his cock butts against her cervix.   “I’ll let you come next time…for being such an obedient pet,” he says, like the benevolent ruler he is.

 

“Thank you,” she sniffles, tension releasing the only way it’s allowed.  “You’re so good to me.”

 

“But you have to talk dirty,” he qualifies, placing her on the spot, as his hips begin rocking again.  Slowly he works his way up to the ravishing rhythm that he knows will give them both what they need.

 

“Fuck my hole, Master,” she begins, unsure.  “Your cock is so big, stretching me so tight and hitting me so deep.” 

 

As if to prove her right, he pulls out all the way out and slams back in, balls deep, his eyes closing at the euphoria of it, until he can feel the end of her passage with his hypersensitive glans.  She squeals in response, turning her head to bite the fleshy bit of her bicep as her back arches, her now-idle nipple clamps scraping against his pectorals.  “You like that?” he asks, already knowing the answer. 

 

“I love it, Master,” she replies, when she catches her breath.  He continues pulsing into her, rhythm matching the heavy heartbeat that pounds in her ears.  “Uunngghh…I love it when you…uunngghh…take me rough.”  With the exception of her cunt, Kara’s whole body goes limp as he hammers her.  Tension inside of her ratcheting up until it is nearly beyond bearable, she scrambles for dirty things to say when it’s impossible to think clearly the way his cock works her.  His hips add a little twist with each thrust, ensuring that his pubic bone compresses her enflamed clit.  “When you come…you,” her grunts change to keens as each hip twist tweaks her clit, “yeah…you squirt inside of me…oh, yeah…and I want to come when you come…aaahh…so I can suck it all up…eh-eh-eh-every single drop.  I…yeah…want your princely cum inside me.” 

 

Loving the sound of the grunts she can’t hold back each time he slams into her until their pelvises clash, Mon-El returns to his more severe rhythm, picking up his pace slightly, so he can hear them more often.  “When you…unngh, fuck…pull my hair…unngh…while you fuck me…oh, yeah…I get all wet…unngh…like a dirty girl.”

 

“Do you?” he growls, possessively driving back into her after slowly pulling out.  Her sweat-soaked hair now remembered, he grips at it more tightly until she purrs like a kitten.  “How about that?”

 

Her inner walls clasp at him as she feels a new rush of wetness in response to his dominance.  “Own my pussy, Master,” she whines, using a new dirty word that she hopes will earn her points.  It’s a word that naughty girls like herself and benevolent masters like her prince use.  “My pussy is yours, Master.  Fuck my tight pussy.  Put your cum in my pussy until it’s spilling out of me.”

 

Whispers of the word ‘pussy’ spread amongst the observers, the room soon making a murmuring hissing sound as though someone has let loose a bag of snakes.  It is determined that the word is acceptable, when the conservative Lady in the navy dress tells her concubinus to, “Lick that pussy.”

 

Entranced by her swollen, jolting breasts, he leans down and takes the chains binding the nipple clamps together in between his teeth.  Holding the chains, the clamps tug roughly on her sore nipples as he ruts in and out of her. 

 

“Aaahhhhggghh,” she reacts to the pain shooting from her nipples straight to her sopping wet, battered core, the air sucked from her lungs.  When the air returns, she murmurs, “You know how to hurt me just right, Master.  Wreck me.  Wreck all of me.”

 

Gripping the chain between his teeth, he jerks his head savagely, winning another satisfying shout of pain.

 

Pushed closer to the forbidden edge by his ferocious treatment of her breasts, Kara pants frantically, bursting into tears as cathartic emotion overwhelms her.  She’s on the verge of her climax and even worse…she can feel the now recognizable pressure that tells her she’s going to squirt – to add insult to injury.  “Oh, no!” she cries, speaking through gritted teeth in hopes of holding off the tide that threatens to swamp her.  “It’s happening.  It’s happening.  Please let me come,” she pleads.  “Please?  I want to come around your monster cock, Master,” she adds, hoping a little last second filthiness will sway his decision.

 

And it does, but only because he’s on the verge as well.  Slackening his mouth’s hold on the chains, he blindly fumbles beneath his balls until he finds the thick string protruding from her anus.  He withdraws from her heat twice more, thrusting back in to the hilt each time and tightening his hold on the chains in his mouth until her pert breasts are pulled taut.  “Come for your master!” he demands, between his teeth.

 

Just like that, she goes off, her inner muscles clamping around him like an iron fist, her back arching, her feet pressing up toward the ceiling.  “Rao!” she screams.  “Oh, Master!  Oh, God…fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!”

 

When her climax reaches its apex and heads on its downward slide, Mon-El tugs on the anal beads, popping each out one at a time in quick succession.  The sensation is enough to have her coming again, the sound of her harsh, raspy breath filling the room.  He blindly tosses the beads as he continues pumping into her, cramming his cock past the cramping, rippling muscles of her pussy that feels like it will kill him with pleasure.  He wraps the fingers of one hand around her throat, using his thumb to depress her carotid artery, stifling the blood flowing to her brain.

 

The combination of removing the beads and the trust in her eyes when he cuts off her blood supply are enough to help him detonate as well.  Mon-El withdraws and drives back in, urging his cock to commence the discharge of his ‘princely cum’ into her.  “Take it,” he growls, throwing his head back like a beast about to howl, thrusting vigorously he recoils halfway and ruts again, until he can feel the barrier against the tip of his spear, “like the Kryptonian whore you truly are.” He works her hard, labors over her body and inside of her, as it becomes more and more difficult to climax with each effort.  “Take.  My.  Cum,” he growls.

 

“Take it…take it…take it,” chants the room in a low murmur.

 

“Yes,” Kara nods, her eyes bright with a near madness, as though the need for his seed has driven her crazy.  “Give it to me, Master,” she rasps against his grip on her throat.  “Give it all.”

 

“Here it comes,” he groans, pumping in and out.  “Gods, here it comes!”  When at last his need to explode engulfs him, his entire body changes to stone, mouth opening wide in expected shock.  The pleasure burns through the base of his spine and then squeezes his testicles until the thick, milky white fluid finally gushes forth, into her.  As he comes, his ass and abs tighten spasmodically, fitfully, with each gush of his release, as though his cock is trying to dig deeper into her, perhaps to crawl inside her womb.  Feeling the splash of his hot cum against her insides once again sets off another, smaller orgasm, allowing the rippling of her inner walls to drink him in like the thirsty wanton she is, just as she had hoped. 

 

When the pressure in his balls is relieved, albeit momentarily, Mon-El releases his grip on her neck and sighs a deep, cleansing sigh before sitting up and pulling out of her.  Still his greedy little captive, she protests their separation, tucking her head into her arm and pouting.  White milky cream attempts to escape her passage, and the sight of it, proof of his mastery, earns a light applause from the audience.

 

“Well done, my prince,” Lady Breck praises, coincidentally using a handkerchief handed to her by a servant to clean the mess between her legs left behind by Commander-Lord Raines.  None the worse for wear, she appears to be a well-satisfied woman.  A servant approaches the bed and offers the prince a handkerchief as well, but he waves the young man away; no intention of cleaning his seed from his concubine, when he fully intends to make her filthy with it.

 

“Well done,” agrees the red-haired vixen dreamily, who’s already moved on to another partner, and is sitting atop the lap of the man with lavender eyes, riding his substantial cock.  “So much Milk of Val-or,” she muses, as though on a mission to obtain as much as she can.  “Don’t spill a drop,” she warns, her hips undulating gently on her current lover’s lap, as his hands cup and squeeze her generous breasts from behind.  “It’s bad luck to spill the royal Milk of Val-or.”

 

“Lady Max is what we call a “Milk Maid’,” Mon-El explains in a raspy voice.  “Though the term is a bit of an ironic misnomer.  It’s her mission to take in as much of a man’s semen as she can.  Followers of the old tenets of Lure believe that hoarding a man’s semen will keep a woman youthful and desirable.”  With two fingers, he guides a milky glob of his cum back into Kara’s hungry pussy, the aftershocks of her orgasms clutching at the digits.  “Not that you need it, Pet,” he tells her.  Leaning down, he licks a wide swath of her labia with his flattened tongue, circling around her hole before flicking her clit with the tip.  Pursing his lips, the prince sucks her swollen bundle of nerves into his mouth and takes a few draws on it, varying the intensity while listening to the sound of his pet struggling for the air to breathe, her thighs quaking with the unquenchable need to close around his head.

 

 

****

Chapter Text

Title: Into the Fray, Unflinching
Author: gldngr7
Rating: Explicit

Feedback: Encouragement and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Flames are destroyed with my freeze breath.

Author’s Notes: I live for the comments.

 

Chapter 9/?

 

Mon-El’s brief respite from need ends abruptly, his cock screaming at him once more, nearly driving him to madness, making him a match for the shining mania he sees in his captive’s eyes. Anxious for another position, he calls out the motto of House Gand, “Into the Fray, Unflinching,” loud enough to be heard.

The locks on the restraints are cued to a voice command and pass code. With a nearly imperceptible hiss and a clink, her wrists are freed from the restraints and the middle ring holding the spreader pops open, allowing her body to unfold and her legs to flop back down on the bed. Even the loops around her ankles loosen so that the prince can easily remove the spreader bar and hand it off to the attending Adept.

Freed from their fatiguing position, her hip and shoulder joints ache from the strain of being jerked taut, but that doesn’t hamper the arousal that seems impossibly undiminished despite several orgasms. Exhausted, she could use a rest, but isn’t about to deny him when he comes at her, a slightly unhinged sparkle in his eye. Her legs tingle like hot needles pricking her nerves as the blood rushes back into places where its supply was crimped in her flaunted position.

Though she wouldn’t if she could, Kara is unable to assist as Mon-El sweeps up her legs and places them against his shoulder, resting them against his broad, sweaty chest. Settling back on his heels, his knees spread wide around her ass, he uses one hand to align his massive and gluttonous meat. Clamping his free arm around her knees to hold her in place, he takes her again in one swift thrust, a feral gleam of victory in his nearly black eyes.

“Ungh,” she grunts in response to his invasion.

“I know you like that, Pet,” he hisses, the grip of her tight passage almost more pleasure than he can bear. “You like it when I just take you like a beast. Isn’t that right?”

In the end, when it comes to sex, they are all just animals, creatures who boil down to their need to breed and perpetuate, and for humanoid species it’s made all the more primal by the consuming pursuit of pleasure. As she takes him in deep, reveling in how tender her pussy feels each time he enters her anew, Kara finally accepts this about herself, and about him. They are all just beasts, driven by their biological imperatives: fuck and breed, domination and submission, pleasure and plain, possession and surrender. Daxamites are…were…smart enough to realize and accept this, while Kryptonians buried themselves in science and exploration to suppress these imperatives. Eschewing the Kryptonian philosophies about sex, she resolves to embrace the Daxamite ideology instead, vowing to never suppress her primal urges again. It is a dogma better to suited to her needs anyway.

“Unh-huh,” she agrees in a moan, her flesh trembling beneath the force of his thrusts. She feels, for the first time in her life, free of the expectations her people placed on her, as though she’s becoming the person she was always meant to be. Liberation through bondage.

A hard smack on her flank accompanies his next jolt of her cervix. “Speak when I ask you a question!” he commands.

“Yes,” she pants, the tension in her pussy winding up as his colossal cock stimulates and works every nerve in her cunt. She’s so tender and she begs for more, using the voice of a submissive who would never dare exert authority. “I like it…when you take me like a beast,” she confesses in a breathy rush, as though she is afraid she won’t get it out before…. “Yeah…yeah…oh yeah…yes, Master! Fuck me harder!” He rewards her with another smack on her flank and she tries to suppress her smile by biting on her lower lip, but fails miserably.

Immobile with fatigue, Kara wonders how much more of this she can take. Like his cock, her libido is a voracious monster, unhindered by the weakening of her mortal flesh which limits her here. Sweat rolling down her body, hair soaked in it, her mouth is dry from the overwhelming heat of the crowd in close quarters and the vigorous activities she’s perpetrated and that have been perpetrated upon her.

“Give me your hands,” he orders, letting go of her knees and reaching out for her.

Kara lifts her shoulders and head from the mattress, shifting his angle of entry slightly, causing her to gasp at the intensified pleasure. She places her hands in his, but he fumbles around her fingers until he finds the purchase he truly wants, her forearms. Before, he was holding her secure as she serviced him, but now, using her arms for leverage, the prince wrenches Kara’s body toward him as he drives into her.

“Fuckfuckfuckfuck!” she screams.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” their observers mimic.

“Don’t you dare come!” he threatens, torturing his balls by slapping them as hard as he can against her ass. “I am your master and you will not come!”

Kara thinks he cannot be fucking her harder – it must be impossible – but then, as if to prove his power, he shifts his angle slightly upward and digs even deeper.

Finally, his cock gets what it needs from her, or perhaps his balls have had enough of the torture of being pinned between their bodies, and he feels his release rise up and jet out. “Put my cum in you so deep,” he growls, just as his entire body seizes, the muscles of his ass and back going rock hard as he shoots another load into her.

“Yeah…yeah…oh, yeah,” she encourages, egging his orgasm to greater heights. “Come in me. Keep coming….”

“Aaahhhggghhhh!” he throws his head back, baying like the beast he’s becoming. “Uunngghh…uunngh…uunggh,” he grunts three more times. Three more brutish thrusts, each leaving her with more of himself. Light-headed with the effort and the flood of chemicals to his brain, his mind is vacant of all but the neurons lighting up his pleasure center.

Watching him come, each time is more barbarous than the last as though he’s stripping away the layers that make him civilized, reminds Kara that he is her mate. He is the man she wanted to see as the intimacy of their relationship deepened, the man he has been afraid to show her all along. In the aftermath of his detonation, audience forgotten in the stillness broken only by the heaving of his chest and the harsh breaths that fill the air between them, she whispers, “I was made for you…can’t you feel it?”

Mon-El tries hard not to look at her face, but the way her blue-black eyes droop sleepily, on the verge of losing consciousness, draws him in. Her mouth smiling that sweet smile of gratification he knows he’s seen before but can’t recall where when he’s in this place. A pang in his heart almost makes him forget the mission he set for himself; to send her away, regretting only having met him in the first place. Almost.

There’s still time to wring the word from her. He has exhausted his little pet, fucked her raw nearly to the point of unconsciousness, and he will continue until he can go no further. He begins moving again, before his balls even have a chance to make demands of him this time. He is no smaller, no shorter and no less hard than he was the first time he came in her, nor will he be until this is over. When he hovers on the brink of exhaustion, the device twisting into his cock and balls will disengage automatically (as a safety measure) and he will be free. Until then, he must continue fucking.

Letting go of her arms, Mon-El repositions her legs, turning her on her side, still pinioned on his dick. Digging deep to find the energy, Kara rolls her upper body until she’s nestled in a fetal position, gripping the gray velveteen bed cover in both fists. She closes her eyes for a moment allowing herself to enjoy the myriad sensations that flow through her like a river; the exhaustion, the repletion, the sweet sting of the rawness so deep inside, the incessant pulse of her clit and, of course, the fullness of his cock invading her.

Mon-El leans over her, balancing himself on one hand, placed beside her tits. The other hand delves into her wet hair which he clenches fiercely, noting the upturn of her lips when he does.

“Yeah…yeah…yeah…yeah,” she keens wearily, as he tortures her over and over with his achingly slow and shallow pattern of advance and retreat. The words come from somewhere unknown to her, as if by instinct; she’s hardly aware of her own effort to say them. Her tongue snakes out to moisten cracking lips as she opens her eyes. Her eyes cast about the room as he looms over her, utterly focused on wetting his cock all the way to another orgasm.

As surprised as she is to discover she enjoys being observed and even commented on while having sex, Kara is equally shocked to realize she loves observing others while in the throes. Commander-Lord Raines, now completely naked, is having his turn at Lady Max, the stunning red-head. He’s pinned her against the mirror and is driving up and up into her without the slightest attempt at gentleness, his massive hands gripping her ass to hold her in place. Petite in comparison to the hulking Raines, he holds her up easily, her calves resting on his shoulders as he pounds into her. In ecstasy, her head is thrown back as far as the mirror will allow, giving him the clearance he needs to suck ravenously at her bouncing breast.

The dark woman with skin like it’s been brushed with silver reclines on her lounge, a head buried between her legs, a head with a distinctive blonde pixie cut. Straddling the dark woman’s torso and kneeling on the cushion in front of her head is the man with lavender eyes, carefully fucking her mouth, his hands petting her head. One of her hands grips urgently at a cheek of his ass, while the other pumps the cock of an olive-skinned man with dark hair and a closely trimmed goatee. When he licks his lips, Kara catches sight of shiny metal, the ball of a piercing on the tip of his tongue.

Reflected in the mirror, she sees the male concubine has switched partners, apparently at his mistress’s behest, and pays homage to the portly man’s cock while he, in turn, messily and noisily suckles the breast of the concubine’s mistress as she kneels on the lounge beside him, his fat, bejeweled fingers buried in her pussy.

After a moment, Lord Mos brushes away the concubinus on his dick, and pulls the woman into his lap as he slides down further into his chair, making more room for the woman to maneuver. The Mistress, Lady Yar, straddles Lord Mos and sinks down on his rigid cock while he places his hands firmly on her hips, chortling something about how it ‘feels like old times’. Leaning forward, she grasps the back of the lounge, then turns her head to toss a pointed look at the man waiting to take his turn. When she nods at him, he snuggles up behind her and spreads her ass cheeks wide. The reflection in the mirror doesn’t afford Kara the best view, but she knows exactly when the concubinus rams his cock home, based on the arching back, the thrown back head, and the long, deep groan from his mistress. Kara’s cunt, already filled with her master’s enormous cock, still ripples with envy.

It seems that all the observers have found their own libidos of more interest for the time being, with the exception of Lord Ral, who only has eyes for her. He lounges lazily in his circular chair -- which appears all the larger for his being alone – his arms spread casually along the chair back as if he is the king of all that he surveys, including her. He doesn’t even try to hide, or touch, the prominent erection tenting his linen pants. Their eyes meet, and they smile at one another.

Bothered by her silence, except for the tiny sounds she’s clearly not even aware that she’s making, Mon-El stops fucking her. Leaving his cock buried to the hilt in her heat, he leans down close to her face, hot breath tickling her ear and then whispers, “I want to watch you fuck him.”

“W-What?” she asks, not sure she’s heard him correctly.

“And who knows?” he continues, with a cocky smile. “Maybe I will get my chance. Even if I lose this challenge, with you as my concubine – every day is a brand-new opportunity to win.”

Leaving her speechless, and concerned about where his thoughts are leading, Mon-El changes their position again. Lifting her outside leg he props it back on his opposite shoulder. Reaching between them, he grabs for the nipple clamp chain and gives it a warning tug to secure her attention. The next time he pulls on the chain, he forces her upper body up from the bed, until she’s propped up on her elbows.

Looking down between their bodies, Mon-El watches as he slowly pulls out, her muscles gripping tenaciously at his dick in protest of its departure, then sinking slowly back in before they can have a chance to relax. His jaw ticks, gritting his teeth together to contain the euphoria as he does it again. And again. Over and over he watches his slick, shiny cock disappears inside of her, hypnotized by it. She may feel well used, but she continues to produce new lubrication for him and though rapturously snug, he doesn’t have to force his way in anymore. “Your pussy knows who I am now,” he says, his voice self-satisfied and authoritative. “Feel how it welcomes me in like its master and then begs me not to leave.

“And it always will,” she replies, tilting her hips up to take him in with each thrust.

“Touch yourself, Pet,” the prince instructs, as he molds one ass cheek to his hand.

Forced to prop up on one elbow she cups her breast.

“Touch your clit,” he corrects, spanking her ass.

Sliding her hand down her sweaty belly, she places two fingers at the apex of her widened slit. It doesn’t take much flicking or rubbing. He speeds his pace, beginning the chase for his next climax, and his pubic bone crushes indelicately against her fingers, which in turn stimulates her clit. Both exhausted, it takes a little more effort and encouragement from voices in the crowd.

“So good,” she whines as he speeds his pace, losing his smooth rhythm as he ruts more and more erratically. “So good, Master.”

His testicles, growing more and more insistent in their need for priming, demand that she service his cock for long minutes as he climbs the mountain to release at a snail’s pace, though his hips move significantly faster than that. “Grip me with your pussy,” he demands, and when she complies he growls, “Harder!” She breathes as deeply as their activity will allow and bears down upon him as though attempting to repel its invasion, screaming between clenched teeth at the effort. When her excruciatingly tight clutch relaxes just as he verges upon the sweet buzz of impending climax, the prince reaches forward and pulls the chain binding her nipples and demands, “Again!” Another marginally deep breath and she bears down with a clenched scream, clamping her inner muscles as though trying to squeeze him out, the way she might try to birth an infant. But he fights back against her efforts, shoving past the muscles he stirred to opposition. Quickening at last, he drops her leg and leans forward into the cradle of her hips as he ruts frantically, his orgasm nearly upon him. “Come with me, Pet,” he allows, her new nickname sounding almost affectionate on his lips.

“Yes, Master,” she whimpers, her pleasure and exhaustion both acute.

“Look at yourself,” he commands, grabbing her chin and forcing her head to turn until it she can watch him fucking her enervated body in the wall mirror. “Look at how you take it and take it. You’re a slut for my cum, aren’t you?”

“Uh-huh,” she whimpers, earning rough fingers on her chin and a series of even rougher thrusts into her cunt. Understanding the unspoken message, she course-corrects, “I’m a slut…uuunngghh…for your cum, Master. I can’t…ge-ehh-et enough,” she pants, not a single word of it a lie, or a ruse to earn his good will.

Then it’s like a mania comes over him – a furor – red seeping into the outskirts of his vision as she becomes more than just a pet, but a vessel for his seed. For his science-given ability to give life. Managing to override the furious need, he slows his thrusts, rutting only as much as he must while telling her what his lizard brain demands of him. “You’ll be my vessel,” he tells her. “I’m going to put it in you over and over,” he grates, leaning down to lick the shiny sweat from her face with a wide swath of his tongue. She turns her head to open her mouth and for a moment their tongues dance an erotic rhythm together before he pulls away. “You will take it and take it all.”

“I will,” she whines desperately, the command in his tone sending a shiver down her spine. Her face growing bright red as she grows closer and closer to her climax.

“I’m going to breed you…fuck!” he pulls back and plunges back in, this time holding his climax at bay instead of giving into it, “...until you carry my scion.”

“Oh, yes!” she cries, a stone rising in her throat, eyes welling with tears. She wants it. Wants it so bad, but knows it can never happen in this place, because none of this is even real.

Drawing back, he dives into her searing heat with a groan. “Would you like that, huh?”

“Yes, Master, please!” She breaks, sobbing her heart out.

He stops and pulls out of her, to the sound of her verbal protest. Arms shaking, his back quivering, he observes the heartbreak and hope that spills forth from her, and finds it satisfying. She will do anything for him, including be his vessel. Mon-El smacks his cock against her tummy, between her mons and belly button, getting her sticky with the mixture of their juices. “I’m going to watch your belly swell with my seed and then parade you through the streets of Capital City for all to see. And when you spill out our progeny from between your legs, I will put another one into you.” Placing his cock at her entrance, he shoves into her with a satisfying grunt, then draws back, and with a tightening of his ass he surges back into the field he’s desperate to plant. “And another,” he adds, rutting again and then withdrawing. He’s lost in the idea, gleeful at the thought of how furious the king would be if he filled a Kryptonian concubine with his get. “And another,” he plunges. “And on and on, until my progeny is legion, my genetic line unbreakable.”

It will happen because his lizard brain demands that he make it so…or die.

Apart from the urgent fucking on the bed, a strange stillness comes over the room, as if the observers have recognized something happening unlike anything they’ve ever witnessed. “Breed her, breed her, breed her,” they chant quietly in unison, the words taking on an almost religious meaning. Natural birth is a myth on Daxam, an event only whispered about.

Legs utterly useless, Kara lifts her arms, her hands finding purchase first in the sweaty strands of his hair, before sliding down to grip the rippling muscles of his back. Lifting her head, she looks down between their bodies to watch as he surges into her, finding the strength to spread her weary legs farther apart. Her own approaching climax draws like a bow string, cranking tighter with each surge, each crash of his pelvis into hers, each slap of his balls against the crease of her ass. “Oh, God!” she sobs as it strikes like lightening, her spine bowing, her nails digging into the undulating muscles of his back hard enough to tear skin away. “Come in me, come in me, come in me,” she sobs deliriously, her breath stumbling as she hyperventilates on her tears.

Nothing has ever set him off like her plea for his cum – the way she weeps for it – so when her pussy implodes, alternating between fisting and conceding around his penis, he gives it to her with gusto.

His need to breed her is beyond primitive, it is primordial, the maddening of it overriding all good sense (and any plan to make her depart), while his guiding organ takes the lead. When his body stiffens, his back arches as he drives into her deep. Sliding her hands down, she grasps his ass, holding him in place with the last of the strength her exhausted body can muster. “Come in me,” she begs again, just a whimper on dry lips now, the last of her hydration streaming down her face.

Jets of his hot seed slice through her womb and the feel of the gush and the thought of it filling her up has her toes curling, her knees locking, and another wave of unexpected pleasure pulsating through her core. “Master!” she gasps, her god all but forgotten, her throat so dry she’s barely audible. It’s not her most powerful orgasm by far, but it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Darkness invades her vision, shrinking the world down to a pinhole of light which flickers briefly and then goes black, and her head lolls listlessly to one side before the flutters of her climax can even fade away.

A strange thrill goes through him as he watches her lose consciousness, having now figuratively ‘fucked her brains out’. His mania reaching peak, he finishes inside of her with two more sharp thrusts, the furor draining away with the final spray of his seed, his eyes closing in relief. Reluctantly, Mon-El pulls out of her still clutching heat and collapses half on her and half on the bed. When she doesn’t awaken immediately, he rolls over onto his back, taking a moment to enjoy the thoroughly used up picture they make in the reflection above them.

Splayed on the bed, her legs wide open, hands limp at her sides and utterly unaware of the world around her, he considers his next move. It’s a struggle to think clearly, the perpetual arousal of his cock quickly bringing him closer to the edge of madness with each climax. His frenzy to breed her, though controllable for the moment, is an urge that whispers into his ear like a regret that can’t be purged. ‘Breed-delirium’, a rare side effect of using the Band, is clearly upon him, which usually indicates a change in brain chemistry – one that the Callus Band’s fail safes should read as exhaustion.

Mon-El lifts his head and stares at his cock, waiting for the Callus Band to go dark and then disengage, but instead of the lighted filament fading and the pop that happens when the device unlocks, he feels his urge rise again. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he sighs, his head falling back on the bed. Heat floods him and he fists his hands until his knuckles turn white, resisting the hissing lizard in his brain that tells him he must roll back on top of her and fuck her unconscious body. She won’t mind, it tells him. Though he knows little about his eager and tenacious Kryptonian concubine, he senses that she’d be angry only that she missed it and would find a way to make him pay for it later. He manages to shove his lizard brain to the side and see the bigger picture.

Ultimately, the deciding factor is that the Kryptonian can’t cry mercy if she’s unconscious and fucking her in this state would only weaken his position, not hers.

He struggles to sit and slides to the end of the bed. The Adept, whose name he can’t recall, if indeed he ever bothered to learn it, stands at the ready, her teal colored gown so transparent it reveals the medium size breasts with wide areolae and a plump, hairless vulva, kept smooth like a baby’s behind. She hands him a wet cloth for cleaning his cock, which he accepts wearily and prepares to set to the task, but first he looks up at the Adept and orders, “Wake her.”

“Yes, Your Highness,” she curtsies.

 

****