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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - What happens in Caine's office, stays there!

Adrian Moss

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The SCG, the whole military really, ran on reports. There were after mission reports (we went there, found stuff, came back), psychological profile reviews (do I send Jaunt in AGAIN?), physical profiles (can I just say I felt small?), and equipment accountability forms. Caine loved the last one. He had to describe, in detail how and why he had let his equipment get sandblasted. You can bet “went to a desert world with fifty kilometer winds” wasn’t enough. No, he had to describe why he let the barrels of his guns get worn down so badly they needed replacement barrels. Because they are weapons – on a desert world – with fifty kilometer winds.

Caine wanted to bang his head on the desk. Gamely, he trudged on. He ran his hand through his head, read a few more requisition forms (yes they needed juice boxes on a desert world – why? – no potable water on world a good enough answer?). Why yes, he had the empties and would return them. Policing your area was important, and if he didn’t have every empty juice box, they would probably search his quarters for the ones he was supposedly hiding.

There was an Intelligence Receipt Notification, which only required his signature, in front of him when there was a knock on his door. Yes, the intelligence people had taken his artifacts and video data when he came back home. Major Caine signed it and said,


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The last and first person on earth that Caine wanted to see slipped into his office and quickly shut the door. The snap of the lock turning over was as loud as a gunshot in the sudden silence.

She'd come straight from the showers. Thoughts of Sherman, of leave, of her bet with Vinny and of her mission had piled on top of her, until she felt like she would snap. And so, she did the dumb thing; she came here, tired and worn out, wanting answers. She was sure she could get them.

She was wearing her robe, but he could see the edge of a t-shirt at the top and fuzzy flannel pajamma bottoms on her legs. It was a major saving grace, as far as he was concerned. What was a damning feature was the towel wrapped around her head, ready to spill out black tresses, or the clean, appealing scent of her soap. Fuzzy slippers covered her feet, turning them into little green froggies.

"Damien," she said, her eyes on the floor. He could see the exhaustion in her face. They were both tired, after Abydos. "We never finished discussing this thing. You know. Between us. You keep denying it, but you can't. You haven't stopped looking at me like the last piece of cake at fat camp, and the situation is getting intolerable. Your way hasn't worked. We're trying my way now."

Her dark eyes rose from the floor finally, meeting his head-on. "We're going to talk about it. Right now."

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“Doctor Jen … Olivia, we can talk about it. I hope I’m always going to be here for you, but … but I’m not sure where you think this will go.”

He stood up and stretched his back, arms over his head. His body ached and he would be paying for all of this in the morning. For a superman, he wasn’t all that super.

His team mate – he must thing about her like that – stood in front of him and needed his help. She was asking for it. He would be a coward if he turned her away, and Damien Caine was no coward. The Major came around the desk to face her. He chose to lean against the desk to give Olivia less of a height disadvantage. The down side of this was he had to look into her eyes, he had to smell her fresh scent, and he had to hear the catch in her breath as she formed the words she was about say.

In a quiet husky voice,

“You are right. We need to deal with this before it burns into something we both regret. Hurting you is the farthest thing from my thoughts. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

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Olivia's mouth watered as he stood and stretched in one beautiful movement, and she swallowed hard, as much to choke down fear as lust. That movement had been hot, but it'd also reminded her how large he was - and that she'd just locked herself in a room with a man she was going to rile up, intentionally or not.

I trust Damien. He's not going to hurt me. She forced herself to relax. This was Damien.

"We have to resolve this, somehow. A transfer, one of us finding someone else, using Kryia to rewire us, something." She swallowed hard and pressed herself into the door, dropping one hand to the handle. This was a bad idea. She should have waited until she wasn't so tired already. Being tired felt like being drunk, and it was messing with her, to feel like that, knowing she was going to upset Damien.

"But we can't keep doing this. So... those are the options I see." Her dark eyes flitted up to his. "Do you see any others?"

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She had hurt him, she could tell. His head went down until his chin rested on his chest. Caine took a deep breath. When he raised his head, his eyes were deep pools of emotion, primarily lust and sorrow. Sorrow took the front seat and drove.

"You can't leave me-us. You are crucial to the team dynamic. Gwyn relies on you. Declan counts on you. I believe you are the anchor that keeps him sane. I think you are more important to the team than I am."

"If anyone gets an emotional lobotomy from Kyria, its me. This is my fault because right now I want nothing more to step forward and drink from your lips. I want to tell you that I love you, that we can be together and make things work out ... and that's a lie. It harms the team. It harms you, and neither of those things can I stand."

He gave the briefest of nods.

"Tomorrow morning I'll talk to Specialist Donnighal about seeing what my options are. You don't need me mooning over you, wanting what I CAN NOT have."

The commander had made his decision.

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His first statement brought tears; tears that he thought she was that important to everyone. It was a mirror of what Declan had said, but coming from Caine made it more, somehow. Declan was her friend, but Damien was her commanding officer. It scared her, terrified her and made her a little proud. She'd always been afraid she wasn't cutting it, that she was only the brain and always the burden. To hear him say that she wasn't was as wonderful as a choir of angels - and his praise was more precious than any heavenly sonata. She was also unnerved about how correct he was about Declan - and if he'd noticed who else had seen? Who else was going to threaten her teammate by turning his weakness against him?

And then he shattered the good mood with a simple statement. She heard him out, letting him finish, giving him time to recover and save himself. But he didn't, and rage, white-hot fury, boiled in her body, setting her nerves on fire. "That's not talking about it!" she shouted, throwing herself forward off the door in a rush that made him blink.

"You're issuing orders again, Major! You still, even when I'm trying to talk to you as a woman," she tapped her chest empathically, "to a man, you're still treating me like a soldier. I'm not your soldier! I'm a civilian first, and I didn't come to talk to my CO-"

Who loves me?!

"-but to my friend and someone I share a problem with." She was up in his face now, spitting fire as her temper got the best of her. "If you want someone to stand by and watch you make decisions for them, go give some orders to Declan! He's the soldier! But in case you haven't noticed, I'm not a good little soldier woman!"

He loves me?

Declan's admission of love had been for has as a friend, part of the team and as someone important to him, as had been her return admission. What Caine meant was something much more serious.

And she was afraid again.

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How could her make her understand? Damien reached out, his hand hesitated and faltered. His jaw tightened and he finished reaching. The young officer put a hand on her upper arm. He brushed his hard hands against her silk-like skin. He could stroke that flesh forever. He hungered for it. He had doubts.

"Do you think, Olivia, that it is wrong to break up the team because you have my heart? Would it be better if I got Major Logan to replace me, if she can be coaxed back to the teams?"

Could he give up the Teams for her? He guessed that he really could. He could take a desk, go into training, something.

"I love you. I love the Team. These two forces are at war with each other and I can't find the answer. Lord, I've looked."

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"No, don't," Olivia said, bowing her head. She was so close to him that it pressed her forehead into his chest. It was too natural for her arms to circle him and hold him close as the tears came. "Love the team. Forget me," she begged as she wet his shirt with tears. "I'm not worth the team."

And she wasn't. She was weak, she was bad, she was everything that had been whispered in her ears that night and she was more. The team didn't deserve to lose Damien over her.

Sherman whispered that she was a martyr, but Olivia couldn't stop. She was drowning in sorrow and regret, all of it over having ruined this man. She had to save him, but how?

Walk away. So easily thought, so hard to do.

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"Forget about you," he said with a low, painful chuckle. "Not happening. I know, I've tried. Kyria is my only answer for that. Only she can give me a night were I don't dream about you. Only she can make it so I compare every woman against you and watch them come up short."

Damien puts a hand gently under her chin and raises her head up so they are looking eye as he simultaneously slides down on the desk so his legs stradle hers.

"Besides. You are the team. Don't you get it? You became the cornerstone. Not one of the guys, you. There is no team without you. I think that against your will, you've become one of us, one of the Team. Is there a going back from that?"

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"I'm not that good," she murmured in denial, "not that important. You're wrong." And just as wrong was the comforting way that she slipped between his legs. She could stay here, safe forever, but she couldn't.

She planted both hands on his chest and pushed herself backwards, shivering at the feel of those muscles. Like Hatchins, she thought, twisting them together intentionally for strength and suddenly it was easy to push away. "I'm part of the Team, and I'll stay there. But you should know, I don't feel like you do. It was all just lust for me." It has nothing to do with your eyes or your kindness, or the way you smile at me, even when I hate the way you smile at me. The way I'm not scared of you. "Just get over me, find someone else. Just so we're clear, ok?"

She backed away to the door and was prepared to run.

Click to reveal..
Livy's Subterfuge roll: 1 sux

1d10=5, 1d10=5, 1d10=8, 1d10=6

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They were the words he wanted to hear. They were the right words. It was a lie.

“Olivia,” he said in a hushed tone. “I wish that was the truth. I wish that was the truth for both of us. If a cold shower could get you out of my mind – if you didn’t have feelings for me – I could know that eventually these feelings would diminish, if not fade away.”

“You wanted to talk this out. I want you to be honest with me. If you can tell me that we are over in your mind, I’ll accept that.

He didn’t move to follow her, or touch her once again. That was too great a risk now. She was suffering and his urge was to rush to her and wrap her in his arms, to keep her safe from pain. Damien was frozen in inaction. To move was to court disaster. He would go to her and he wouldn’t be able to hold back this time. The problem was, the initiative had passed to Olivia.

All she has to do is walk out that door and I can bury this back were it belongs.

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Olivia deflated, her eyes popping to the ceiling as she slumped against the door. This is not the way it was supposed to happen. They were supposed to be able to work this out. Still staring at the ceiling, she whispered, "I don't know if I love you, like that, but I do know that I like you a lot. More than I should. You're a good man, and I'm not scared of you."

She wouldn't look at him. "Please don't Swiss-cheese your brain for me. Just... let me go. Let me go be with someone else, without feeling like I'm hurting you." Vinny would date me. Caine wouldn't want me after that. After a moment, she discarded the idea as unfair to Vinny. She should date someone because she liked them, not as a distraction. "I have other people interested, off the team." Other person. "It'll pass, and we can be... CO and soldier. Okay?"

None of this even started to cover Declan and his conditioning. She'd really messed her emotional balance up.

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His voice was calm, strong, and confident.

"I'm not sure. If I don't get something done, I'm not ever going to get over you. I can bury it, but that won't make it go away. You make me not trust myself and that's a hard thing for me to handle. Before you, all I had was the Service. Now, I don't know."

"I think you will get over me. You are strong-willed and determined - as well as smart. You don't need me (like I need you)."

He slammed down on his passion with a will of iron.

"This is how it has to be. I'm okay with it. Are we done here?"

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Men weren't supposed to want her like this, Olivia reflected bitterly. She wasn't supposed to have this problem. The Artifact cursed me. Damien thinks he's in love with me. Gwyn loves to clash minds. Vinny just wants to sleep with me. And Declan... Declan needs me.

And if they knew her, really knew her and what she'd done, they'd never feel the same way about her.

She was sick as she finally lowered her eyes to stare at him. Was simple resolution too much to ask for? She was so tired, and this was supposed to be easily resolved. She thought about telling him exactly why he was wrong about her, but like with Declan, the words weren't coming out. And could she tolerate him knowing, the look in his eyes when he found out? She wasn't sure; it'd been so long since she'd done this, had a good man want her this much. She walked back to him, worn down and weak, with only one thought: to have something to hold onto - the love of a good man.

"Olivia-?" She cut off his question by grabbing his shoulders and standing on tiptoe. Knowing that this was the absolute wrong thing to do but unable to care, she kissed him.

She was a bad girl, after all. What else could she do?

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Caine had always been easy on the eyes. In high school he had his fair share of dates,with all the things that came with dating at that age.

She smothered the word 'No' before it could come out. He didn't want this, but it was what he needed. His right hand moved behind her head, through her hair, and cupped the base of her skull. He pressed in softly with her kiss. His arm brushed against her ear, tickling it. His left hand never rose above her waist and settled easily on her ass. Alternately he brushed it in light circles and squeezing that perfect bottom.

She heard him moan. She could feel his need press against her. His pulse was pounding and his heart sounded like a rythmn section. Only his breathing was controlled and in such a way that Olivia could tell he was drinking in her scent.

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She had taken the wolf by the ears and now she was caught. She pulled back, but only enough to give an insistant little hop. He lifted her into his arms, sliding her over his legs as her towel finally fell off her hair. She slipped her fingers up in his hair as he reclaimed her lips, their recent exploration giving him more familiarity with her.

How long this continued, neither could say. All Olivia knew is that she'd carry this moment with her forever. Finally she managed to pull back, knowing she'd gone too far, and finally feeling the remorse for it. "I'm sorry I'm not the woman you think I am," she said, her breath brushing over his ear. "You wouldn't give up your command for the real me, and you shouldn't."

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He wanted to wrap her in his arms and hold her close to him, but she wasn't someone he could possess. He sensed that. He had to let her know how he felt and she had to come to him willingly. Now she had regrets.

This wasn't going to work. She wanted what he wanted. They wanted to be in the team and they wanted each other and the two just couldn't exist.

"You are right, but not in the way I think you mean. We want what we have, but we want more. The problem is, it will cost us what we have."

He stood up and gave her an endearing look.

"We are going to have to tough this out together. See other people - see Vinny, um Lt. Wright. Whomever. I care, but we are going to be working together for some time and we are both people ... with needs. I'll understand."

"In time, when the time comes, the team will be broken up. If we still want each other we can make our lives together then."

His look became a bit sheepish,

"Now, one of us has to leave before this goes past the point of no return. You are going to look a little funny standing in my office by yourself."

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He said the words smoothly, but no polish could make the statement, See other people - see Vinny... come out without a hitch. It had cost him to say that, and to say it about a man he clearly hated. Vinny's passions against Caine were clear, but his passions in return were carefully hidden.

It didn't matter, Olivia realized. Her shoulders slumped. She wanted to stay with SG21; could she leave for Caine? She thought about leaving Declan and Gwyn, about working with other people who'd she seen around and barely knew. Vinny and Kyria could be ok as teammates, but she couldn't imagine matching this dynamic here.

She had one last statement, and this one hurt. "Damien, you may have a wife already, who will blind you to other women." That would be, of course, the military. "But if I date someone else, it's because I want to, and not because they're a placeholder for you. And if they do come to mean so much, then when the team is gone, there probably won't be a you and me anyway. I'll have moved on. So, right now, your plan might work. But it might not either. You run the risk of never having me. I hope you can live with that."

Tired and defeated, without another word, Olivia left the office.

Click to reveal..
Olivia's Wits+Rapport (last mega): 5 sux

1d10=10, 1d10=1, 1d10=5, 1d10=3, 1d10=10, 1d10=10

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Her words were like blades. They were true. If she walked out that door she could very well be walking out of his emotional life for ever. Damien felt his stomach drop - an empty feeling alien to him.

It was like he knew it was. He couldn't have both. It was the Team or the Woman and the Team had won. It would most likely win again. It was like a marriage pledge and he wasn't the man who counciled cheating. Wanting Olivia was his cheat, his betrayal.

The door shut. She walked away.

"Good bye. I love you," he whispered.

Caine saw the towel on the ground. Her towel, the one she had around her hair when she came here. He picked it up, hesitated, and then drew it up to his face. He soaked in her scent, as if it was the last time. It was probably - most likely - the last time.

Damien put it down, walked around his desk, and put it in his spare chair. It would go in with the other gym towels when he went back to his quarters ... alone.

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