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Rerum Naturae

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In another setting -- wearing clothes, at least, and preferably something basic, like faded jeans and a plain t-shirt -- she'd have been the girl next door. Clean-cut. Wholesome. Breasts full just past 'perky', and the freckles across the bridge of the nose almost shifted the adjective back to perky, too. Brown eyes. Wavy brown hair, the occasional gold or red glint in it under sunlight. Strong shoulders emphasizing the long line of torso dipping into the waist and flaring out again over the hips. Long, strong hands.

Dimpled, at the corners of the mouth when she smiled, and at the base of her spine, in the curves of those hips. Muscular legs, tapering down to slender ankles and long slender feet. Feet that belonged in red-sequined Dorothy shoes for the foot fetishist to admire. The tan ran all the way up those legs to the hips, demarcated by the tiniest of lines for an itsy-bitsy bikini that covered more than the thongs on most beaches. Her breasts were amazingly pale where the bikini top had been, as was the skin between an adorable belly button (perfectly sized for a queen's-ransom diamond, or just for pouring champagne into) and the brown curls between those lighter brown thighs.

Right now, she was wearing candlelight and sweat, a flickering of shadows painted here and there across her body and face as they saw fit. Her hair had long ago come unplaited from the paired braids; Krycek had, almost as an afterthought, tied the blue and white check ribbons around her ankles, and amusement or malice had glinted in his eyes when she bit back a protest. She hadn't bothered with much makeup, and the strawberry lip gloss hadn't lasted long; the strawberry flavored lube, barely longer.

Krycek was wearing pretty much what she was, minus an arm. Sweat, candlelight, an air of satiation and satisfaction.

Both of them thought they'd gotten the better of the night. One of them was wrong.

Krycek settled more comfortably onto the bed, letting the slowly spinning ceiling fan cool him as he watched her, his eyes mostly closed. She sprawled on her side of the sheets, catching her breath and watching him, too. When his breathing evened out, she sat up, only to find his remaining hand around her wrist and gripping tightly. Too tightly.

"That hurts, Alex." Her voice walked the fine line between protest and whine, but she didn't try to twist free. "If you wanted someone to hurt, you should have called one of the other girls."

Krycek only smiled. "Amy, when have I ever called the wrong person?"

Amy looked at his hand, still wrapped around her arm, and at the livid scars of the stump of his arm. At least once, was clearly the answer she wanted to make and was biting back. "What do you want, Alex?"

His smile widened, developed a toothy, dangerous satisfaction that had her pushing back to the limit of his grip, and damn near off the bed. "You'll do nicely, Mary Jane."

The woman hissed at him, tongue forking as it flicked saliva. Alex twisted her arm, hard, so that the droplets hit her skin rather than his. A speck hit the sheet and sizzled, charring the cotton.

Krycek repeated, "Mary Jane. Stop." When she continued to pull against him, getting stronger by the moment, he said, "The third and last time, Mary Jane -- be still."

She froze, pupils now horizontal and narrowed, forked tongue barely protruding past small, pinpoint sharp fangs. Her lips were crimson, a brighter red than her irises.

Krycek watched the succubus, saying nothing, neither moving nor shifting his grip, until she calmed again. Slowly her eyes settled back to brown, with human pupils. Her hair shortened, flowing back up her back and shifting from night black curls into brown waves. Milk white skin -- the blue-white of skim milk, not the rich, gold-toned cream of fresh milk -- regained its modern tan, its camouflaging sprays of freckles. The forked tail had never manifested and he was grateful for that; he couldn't have parried it without his prosthetic.

Finally, when the succubus had settled back into her 'Amy' form, Krycek nodded, once. "Time we went to work."

"Where did you learn my name?"

Krycek said softly, "Mary Jane. I know your name. Do you want to bet I don't know how to send you back to hell for a century?"

"You'd only arrive while I was still there," she pointed out, cold and calculating now. She still sounded like a corn-fed, Midwest farm girl, but one who'd been offered questionable livestock in lieu of payment.

"Care to bet on it?" He let go of her wrist, finally, and sprawled back on the bed. "You'll lose, by the way. I don't want to coerce you." But I will, hovered unspoken between them for a long moment. "I know your game. You might even know mine." He smiled at her again, edged and feral. "And the hunting's good."

The succubus shifted from sitting, back hunched like a spitting cat, to lounging on her belly like that same cat demanding its rightful adulation and petting. "Hunting? Really." The purr rumbling through her voice matched the slit-pupil eyes which had gone as green as Krycek's. "I'm supposed to forgive you, though, Aleksandr?"

Krycek only smiled. "I don't care if you forgive me or not. I bind you by your name, Mary Jane, not to hurt me by action direct or indirect, by omission or commission, to protect me as yourself against all enemies, mortal and otherwise, on this plane or any other, until the hour of my death and after it as well." She winced at several of the phrases, and cringed as Krycek closed off loopholes.

"Sweet Mary Jane," he purred, laughing at such a mundane name for a succubus. "I promise. This will be much more interesting than hooking for the Consortium."

"And you humans can't be bound the way we can," Mary Jane complained softly. " 'Free will,' " she muttered and made it sound like profanity. From a demon, perhaps it was.

Krycek just chuckled. "But you'll have fun." He could see the demon resigning herself to it, and reminded himself, again, never to trust her at his back. That wouldn't be anything new, though. She was quite insane, even for a demon. But he could use her. Oh, yeah. I can use her.

Mary Jane only sighed, flopping on the bed as she realized that he didn't give enough of a damn to be seduced properly. "Proshmandovka yobaniy, v rote tebya ebat'!"

"Several times. Frequently enjoyed it." Krycek chuckled. "And when I didn't, I got even. Let's talk business. The sooner I'm done, the sooner I loose you from service to me. Although never," Krycek added, "from the binding that keeps you from harming me."

She hissed, then asked sweetly, "Don't you even want to try me in my real shape?"

"Business, Mary Jane." The emphasis on her name was subtle, but she winced anyway. "Business."

The succubus sighed again, forked tongue flickering. "Oh, all right. Business." She added, irritated, "And tell me you aren't going to insist I stick to this corn-fed look?"

Krycek only laughed. "Of course not. I'll even tell you which ones you can drain completely."

Mary Jane raised her head, a sinuous, dangerously graceful, hideously beautiful motion. "Completely?"

He only smiled, that same dangerous, toothy grin that had chased her across the bed earlier. Now Mary Jane slithered closer, draping herself along his side, head resting on his chest and one hand stroking languidly along the vivid scars of his stump as Krycek pointed out, "I did say this would be more interesting."

Oh, yes. Campaigning for a world, for his soul, for her freedom, for the pleasure of winning -- Mary Jane ought to find this much more interesting than whoring for the Consortium.

~ ~ ~ finis ~ ~ ~

Comments, Commentary, and Miscellanea:

Rerum naturae: Of the nature of things, or the natures of things. Both apply. (Latin)

Succubus: 1. A female demon supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with a man while he sleeps; 2. An evil spirit; a demon.

Lyrics provided by Tangential Thinker, and much thanks! Lines used marked with *.

"What's Your Game," by The Ramones

I know your name *
I know your game *
Sweet Mary Jane *
You're quite insane. *
And all you ever want to be
Is like the other girls you see,
Oh yeah.


Russian profanity:

Proshmandovka yobaniy, v rote tebya ebat'!
Fucking hustler (male prostitute), I hope someone fucks you in the mouth.