Lunar Andromeda

Fandom: Andromeda/Sailor Moon

Disclaimer: All Andromeda characters are copyrighted to Tribune Entertainment. The Sailor Moon concept belongs to Naoko Takeuchi.

Rating: NC-17

Archive: Anywhere, just give credit where credit is due

Feedback: Yes, please! Send all comments to purenightshade@gmail.com

Author's Notes: There are some severe spoilers for the entire series, especially concerning the character of Trance Gemini. You've been warned.

Summary: After a brutal attack by the Magog on a planet belonging to the restored Commonwealth, Dylan Hunt decides to get rid of the Magog threat once and for all. Trance has a plan.

Episode 29: Couple

Lunar Andromeda

Fandom: Andromeda/Sailor Moon

Disclaimer: All Andromeda characters are copyrighted to Tribune Entertainment. The Sailor Moon concept belongs to Naoko Takeuchi.

Rating: NC-17

Archive: Anywhere, just give credit where credit is due

Feedback: Yes, please! Send all comments to purenightshade@gmail.com

Author's Notes: There are some severe spoilers for the entire series, especially concerning the character of Trance Gemini. You've been warned.

Summary: After a brutal attack by the Magog on a planet belonging to the restored Commonwealth, Dylan Hunt decides to get rid of the Magog threat once and for all. Trance has a plan.

Episode 29:

Throughout the rest of the time they spent on Terazed that day, Kasei didn’t so much as glance in Rhade’s direction. Not that he really noticed. He was too busy being stunned at this turn of events. By the time they boarded the Maru to head back up to the Andromeda, the shock had worn off somewhat and he glanced continuously at Kasei, who still wasn’t giving him any attention. When they got on board the Andromeda, she headed straight for her quarters, saying that she needed to get out of her dress uniform and into something more comfortable.

Rhade headed for his quarters to change. He grabbed a shower first, giving what Kasei had done some serious thought. It was such a sudden move and didn’t really make any sense. Not that he was complaining, but it made him wonder. He shook his head and dressed again, this time in black pants and a white t-shirt. He stood for a while looking in the mirror, scrutinizing his appearance and psyching himself up to go see Kasei. I haven’t been this nervous about going to speak to a woman since I was a teenager, he grumbled to himself as he left his quarters, heading a couple door down the hallway to Kasei’s. He paused just outside the door. His enhanced hearing could pick up the sounds of music coming from inside. She’s playing her guitar? He rang to door chime. Much as I’d love to stay here and listen, I can think of better things to do.

The music stopped and there was a brief silence before he heard her invite him in. He walked in and found her sitting on the bed. Kasei watched him come in and close the door with a blank look on her face. She looked very relaxed, following his every move as he paced a little bit before speaking, trying to compose his thoughts. He was far too preoccupied with that to notice that, despite what she’d sai when hey got back on board, she was still wearing her uniform.

“Would it be alright if we talked?” Rhade asked finally.

Kasei tilted her head to one side. “Are you sure you want to? You look jittery.”

“I have to get this cleared up before I go crazy.”

“Hmm. I thought you were already crazy. Perhaps I was wrong about that.”

He chocked back a growl. “How can you be so light about this?”

“About what? You haven’t really said anything yet.”

He stopped at turned to look at her, seeing the amused look on her face. “Is there something funny?”

“Come over here and I’ll tell you.”

Rhade gave her a suspicious look, but tentatively came over to sit on the bed beside her. “What is it?”

“You,” she replied bluntly.

“I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t. Generally speaking, men never do unless you spell it out for them. I’d hoped that you would have figured it out by now. Oh well. It doesn’t really matter much either way.”

“Figured what out? Perhaps you’d better explain just what you’re talking about.”

Kasei turned her body a little so that she was able to look right at him without turning her head. “Perhaps I should. Now, you’re going to have to pay attention as I’m only going to explain this once.”

As Rhade watched, she slowly slid her jacket off to once again reveal the golden double helix band on her arm. He stared at it, surprised that she was still wearing it even after what she’d said to his parents. She took his right hand and slid something warm and smooth onto the ring finger. Rhade looked down to see an elaborately etched silver band there. Set into the top of the band were several sparkly red things that appeared to be flakes of a precious gem. He looked from it to her ear. The gem there, though rough and uncut, was the same color as the bits in the ring. She nodded, seeming to know what was going through his mind.

She brought his hand up to her face and pried the leather armband off before gently kissing the skin on the inside of his wrist. She looked up at him expectantly. “This is your last chance to run, Rhade. If you leave now, you’re a free man. If you stay…I trust that I don’t need to spell that out for you.”

“Why would I want to leave?” he asked, cupping her face. “I have what I want right here. It would be foolish to leave.”

“You do understand that you stand a better chance of passing along your genes if you do, though, right?”

“If I left, I could have my pick of women and father many children, but if I stay I can be with a woman who has shown me things that I never would have seen or believed. You are as wild and untamed as the deserts of your home world and that wildness appeals to me. We’ll have our share of arguments, but all couples do. What matters is what I feel for you, what I suspect you feel for me.”

“Oh? So now I have feelings for you? That’s an awfully big assumption on your part.”

“So why go to all this trouble?” he challenged. “Why tell both our parents what you said, why wear the double helix to dinner, why the ring, and why the warning to leave?”

“Good. You were paying attention,” she said. Before he could blink, she was kissing him hungrily. “You’re mine now, Telemachus Rhade, whether you like it or not,” she said between kisses.

“I think I could be convinced to like this,” he breathed, reaching behind her for the end of her hair to untie the ribbon bind her hair. It only looked elaborate as it was a simple matter to pull the scarlet ribbon out, leaving her black hair to cascade freely down her back. Kasei pushed him down onto his back, crawling up to straddle his chest, but leaving his arms free. She sat there, studying him for a while, toying with the bone blades on his left arm. Her fingers unlaced the leather armbands, tossing them aside.

“That’s better,” she said, sliding so that she was lying on top of him instead of straddling him.

“The sight of naked bone blades works better for you?” Rhade asked as he ran his fingers through her hair.

“You’re still wearing entirely too much for my liking,” she replied, toying with hi facial hair. “It’s a good thing I’ve seen images of Gaheris, otherwise I’d be asking you to shave.”

“Not a big fan of facial hair?”

“Not normally, no, but this adds something to your face. Gaheris was a lovely man, don’t get me wrong, but I prefer this look. As an added bonus, it helps me distinguish the two of you from the images in my head.”

Rhade slid his hands under the thin red top of her uniform, easing it up her back. “You’re still having dreams of Gaheris and Valkyrie?”

“You’d best be grateful that I am as they’ve played a large part in what I did earlier. Gaheris’s relatives were equally shocked when Valkyrie decided that he was a worthy husband. It’s a long story that I don’t feel like telling right now.”

“Good. I don’t really feel like listening.” Rhade flipped Kasei onto her back to get her out of her clothes more easily. He tossed them away, not caring where they landed. As always, the smooth pale skin of her body made him pause.

Kasei used his moment of inaction to roughly divest him of his clothes, not pausing afterwards to stare at his physical perfection, going straight for what she wanted. Rhade was happy to oblige, letting her climb up on top and guide him inside. She stretched out on top of him, content to enjoy the feeling of being with him, surrendering entirely to her instincts and past memories. For his part, Rhade reveled in the scent of her arousal, running his hands over her bare skin as he kissed her with the full force of his need and desire for her. She took it easy on him which let him last a little longer than he had before.

When it was over, they lay there together, wrapped in each other’s arms, enjoying the warmth of the other and the fell of skin on skin. Kasei’s eyes dropped sleepily as her heartbeat slowed back down to normal, soothed by Rhade’s hands gently stroking the skin of her arm. She felt his lips press a gentle kiss on her forehead as she drifted off to sleep.

Rhade felt Kasei’s body go limp in his arms and he smiled. She’s mine. She’s finally mine. I don’t want to fall asleep for fear that I’ll wake up to find out I dreamed this whole thing. If this is a dream, though, I never want to wake up again. He held up his hand to examine the ring she’d put there. She couldn’t possibly have known what size my finger was and yet it fits as if it was made for me. It’s very well crafted, so she couldn’t have had it made after we got back to the palace. We left to quickly afterwards. He made a note to ask her about the ring in the morning, content for now to simply lie there with his woman curled up in his embrace, asleep. My woman. Is she mine or am I hers? Not that it matters, but I think both apply here. According to the laws of her people, I belong to her now for the rest of my life. According to the laws of the Nietzschean people, she chose me, but she’s my wife and I’m expected to have more than just one if other women find me to be worthy. I wonder if she knows about that. Rhade frowned. I don’t know if I could have any other wives after her. It’s very un-Nietzschean of me to even think that. I’ll have to discus it with her. He yawned, eyes drooping. We’ll see what the morning brings.

~~~~~~~~~

Rhade woke the next morning covered in a warm blanket alone. He sat up, looking around in a panic. He was still in Kasei’s room, but he didn’t immediately see her anywhere. Recognizing where he was, he calmed down enough to hear the music. He followed the sound with his eyes over to the couch. There she was. Kasei sat with her guitar in her lap pressing down on strings with one hand and picking at them with the other. Her eyes were closed in concentration. He watched as her plucking slowed, indicating the ending of a song. Only when the last metallic note faded did she open her eyes to find Rhade watching her.

She smiled. “I was wondering if you were going to sleep all day.”

“I likely could have,” he replied. “This bed is very comfortable and I was quite tired last night from everything.”

“I can imagine,” she said, putting the guitar away and coming back over to the bed to sit down beside him. She was dressed in a simple pair of black pants and a white tank top. Her hair was bound in a simple pony tail and her feet were bare. He’d never paid any attention to her feet before that, but he noted that the bottoms of her feet were very tough, but her nails were kept short and tidy. Her skin there was the same color as the rest of her body. “It didn’t take me very long to pass out either.”

“How long have you been awake?”

“Not long. I’d guess it’s only been an hour or so, long enough to shower and dress. I thought you’d wake up shortly after I did, but when you didn’t I figured I’d get some more practice done.”

“You practiced your guitar instead of going to get breakfast? I’m a little surprised at that.”

Kasei made a face. “I’m starving, no doubt about that, but given our past history, I thought it would be best if I stayed just in case you woke up thinking all of that was a dream.”

“That thought did occur to me, but your room is a little different than mine.”

“So you know this is real.” She nodded. “That’s good.”

“So I’m yours now. Now what?”

“Now we get breakfast and then we talk. If you like, you can use my shower while I get you something from your room to wear unless, of course, you either like parading around naked or wearing dirty clothes. Personally, I have nothing against the first one.” She leaned back on the bed, admiring him. “There are advantages to a mate who is physically perfect.” She blinked. “Did I just say that?”

“Yes, you did. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this myself. It’s what I want, but it’s hard to believe. Before last night, I had to believe that you’d eventually come around, but I had no idea that you’d do what you did last night, that you’d so calmly inform my parents of your choice and then walk away and act like nothing had happened.”

“That’s how things are done on Nomaie. I didn’t have a lot of time between making my final decision and the dinner to look up how your people do things, so I had to make it up as I went along. I don’t much care for flying by the seat of my pants, but I didn’t really have any other options. It was the perfect opportunity and I took it.”

“You use a lot of human sayings.”

Kasei shrugged nonchalantly. “I was on Earth for quite some time before the Drago-Kazov got me, in addition to the time I spent there eight thousand years ago.”

“With Seiya and those other people.”

She nodded. “Those were good times, despite the circumstances.”

Rhade started to ask her something, but decided against it. “If you’d be so kind as to get me some new clothes, I think I’ll take you up on that offer of a shower, and then we can go get something to eat.”

Kasei nearly wilted at the mention of food. “I advise you to shower quickly,” she said getting up. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

While Rhade headed for the shower, Kasei left to head down the hallway to his room. Well, for a male, he’s remarkably tidy, she observed looking around. Seeing only the dirty clothes from dinner the night before, she nodded. Cleans things fairly often, or maybe just recently. She took a few moments to look at his personal belongings as it occurred to her that she really didn’t know a lot about him and that bothered her. She based her choice of Rhade largely on past memories and her incessant physical need for him. And to think I overrated the whole tactile addiction thing when I was younger when I should have paid more attention to what my tutor was telling me about it. Oh well. The humans say that hindsight is perfect. I’m inclined to agree with that.

Going into his closet, she found several uniforms, most of the identical. That made sense. If you had to wear a uniform, it was better to have many of the same one than to wear a dirty one over and over or have to launder the same one at the end of each day. She rifled through them, trying to decide what she should bring him. She wasn’t really the most knowledgeable about clothing. She’d never really had to be. Human fashion was fairly simple and on Nomaie there were people in the palace whose job it was to worry about such things, people she’d hated with a passion as their ideas of dressing nicely often meant that she’d be unable to breath or move well and have a sore head from all the hair pins they’d use to pin her hair in place. She closed her eyes and grabbed two things. She opened her eyes to look at them. In her hands she held a pair of tan pants and a deep green tank top. Those will do nicely.

Clothes in hand, she went over to his dressing table and found his double helix. She grabbed it and a comb and headed back to her room, where she found Rhade showered and waiting, lounging naked on the couch. Her breath caught in her throat and she felt herself getting hot. “Rhade, that’s not fair,” she growled.

“What would you have me do then? There’s no need for me to hide behind a towel in here. I don’t really want to crawl under the blankets, as comfortable as that would be, and my clothes from last night, while likely still in good shape, aren’t acceptable to you for me to wear today. Besides,” he said with a sly grin. “I wanted to see what your reaction would be.”

“I hope it was to your liking,” she said, tossing his clothes at him as he laughed.

“Seeing you aroused is one of my more favorite things, but seeing your interest in my appearance will have to do for now,” he chuckled, dressing.

“You’re just lucky that I’m in a good mood today or I would have tossed this at you as well,” she told him, holding the golden double helix out in front of her.

That was when Rhade noticed that she wasn’t wearing hers. He finished dressing as she walked over to her dressing table and picked up the matching band. “So how do I do this again?” she asked, holding the band. “I think it was a fluke that I managed to get this on right last night.”

Rhade took the band from her. “Allow me. I know it’s not our way, but we’ve done that already, even though you didn’t really mean it then,” he said as he clasped the thin band around her arm. “Since we seem to be doing things oddly, we may as well continue doing them that way.”

When the band was secure around her arm, she took the thicker band and clasped it around his upper arm. “Your crew isn’t going to recognize the significance of the ring you’re wearing, but they will understand a double helix, so we both may as well wear them. I’d wear mine anyways, as a note. You’re wearing my token, so I should respect your culture and wear yours.”

“I appreciate that, really I do. So, shall we go finish our talk over breakfast?” Rhade laughed at the look on her face. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He gestured for her to lead the way and followed her out the door. They walked side by side to the mess hall, not making any physical contact, but Rhade figured that was for the best. Every time he touched her, he wanted to divest her of her clothing and do things to her body that weren’t acceptable to talk about in public. With her new acceptance of him, he figured that her reservations about doing the same to him were significantly lessened if not gone altogether.

In the mess hall, they found Yuki and Beka sitting together at a table, giggling about something. Trance, Aries, and Okami were at another table, while Dylan and Tenshi were at another. Rhade and Kasei got themselves some breakfast and sat down at an empty table to eat, ignorant of the looks the others were giving them.

Rhade waited for Kasei to have something in her stomach before setting his fork down. “Kasei, could you tell me about this ring? What it means, what it’s made of?”

“I expected that. The ring, as near as I can figure, is like the double helix in meaning, but unlike the helix, there is only one of these and it brands you as mine to anyone who has even a passing knowledge of the Nomaien people. To other Nomaiens, it’s a warning to back off or risk the wrath of the woman who gave you that ring. In ancient times, that ring functioned as an inescapable mark of ownership. Until the day you die, you’re mine even if you outlive me. You see, my ancestors tended to view men as property, much as men in ancient times on Earth viewed women. Things have changed, but you get the idea. As for what it’s made of…well, it’s a special metal that we use only for these rings. When a woman comes of age, she can get one of these made. Not all women choose to use theirs or even have one made, but someone in my position has to. Nobility are generally expected to mate and a princess…we’re required by law to marry. I had that ring made when I turned 14. The metal is something we call memory metal. Once it’s placed on a finger, any finger, it will shape itself to that finger and can never be worn by anyone else. It’s kind of like a force lance in that it keys itself to your DNA and will cause harm to anyone who tries to wear it. It’s also not easy to take off. Not that you’d have any reason to, of course.”

He examined the ring again, giving it an experimental tug. It stayed where it was. “You weren’t kidding.”

“I wouldn’t make light about something like this. We’re very serious when it comes to this. It doesn’t seem like it to a people as family oriented as yours, but we take all serious relationships very seriously. It’s rare for a Nomaien to mate, but when she does it’s for life.”

“I’m not planning on going anywhere.”

“Do you have any other questions?” Kasei asked, eating another mouthful of food.

“I do, but I think those are things best discussed in private. We have time. I’m in no hurry.”

She gave him a questioning look. “Not going to bring up the rather large size of your average Nietzschean family and the fact that other women may decide that you’d make a good husband?”

“Not at the moment, but since you did, we may as well discuss it.”

“Make no mistake Telemachus. I’m not sharing you with any other woman,” she told him fiercely. “That may be your culture, but it’s not mine. I accept you and your people, but I won’t have other women involved with us.”

Rhade nodded thoughtfully, sipping his coffee. “That’s what I thought you’d say. I don’t think it’s something we’ll really have to worry about for the time being as we’ll be busy fighting the Magog and the Spirit of the Abyss. None of the Nietzschean females on the Andromeda were worth my time before I met you and now that I have you they pale in comparison. You’re the only one I’m interested in.”

“Good. That settles that then.” Kasei relaxed and finished her breakfast with gusto. Rhade, who had finished while she was talking, just sat back and finished his coffee.

“Good morning Rhade,” Dylan said, walking over to with Tenshi. “That’s an interesting choice of accessory.”

“Not entirely unexpected, though,” Tenshi added. “Especially not after Kasei’s little performance last night.” She turned to look at her friend. “Tell me, Kasei, is this just another stunt like the one you pulled on your parents?”

“I’d love to tell you that, but I can’t,” Kasei replied calmly, fingering her helix.

Tenshi narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “I need a little more proof than that. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I need to know.”

Rhade held up his right hand to show Tenshi the silver ring on his finger. “We’re serious, Tenshi,” he told her. “Kasei’s choice is no joke.”

Tenshi took his hand and examined the ring. “Hmm. There’s no possible way that you could have faked this and Kasei wouldn’t let you have the real one unless it was serious.” She looked between them. Solemnly, she kissed Rhade gently and quickly on the lips. “Welcome, brother. Treat her well, or face our wrath.”

Kasei laughed at the very confused expression on Rhade’s face. “Relax. It’s a thing with her people. Kissing is just a thing they do all the time. Greeting, parting, and everything in between. The Kal’tresh’nal seem to be a very physically intimate people to outsiders, but they fail to see why we place such importance on something like kissing or more…intimate contact. The Laisheen are also like that.”

“Yes but…brother?”

“Tenshi is like a sister to me, as are Okami and Yumeko. Same heart, different bodies. You’d better listen to her warning. They can be nasty if they have reason to be.”

Rhade nodded. “I’d never do anything to hurt her, Tenshi, you have my word.”

Tenshi smiled. “Good.” She patted Kasei on the shoulder. “It’s nice to see you happy for a change. I can’t help but think how much your mother would hate this.”

“And yet I don’t care. Besides, she already thinks I’ve chosen him as a lover.”

“Yes, but a mate?” Tenshi shook her head. “You’re asking for trouble and it could be construed as a challenge to Hihana’s present position as Heir even though I know it wasn’t intended as such.”

“Mother can think what she wants of this and the same goes for that power grabbing snitch Hihana.”

“My, my. What sharp claws we have today,” the black haired woman observed.

“We just finished discussing a rather touchy subject,” Rhade explained.

“Ah. Well, we’ll leave you two in peace, then,” Tenshi said, guiding Dylan away from the table.

“You have strange friends, Kasei,” Rhade told her. Kasei simply smiled and finished her glass of milk.

~~~~~~~~~

Trance and Aries met after breakfast in Hydroponics. Aries paced around the room while Trance tended the plants. After a while, Aries stopped and turned to Trance. “While I’m ecstatic that Rhade and Kasei are now officially together, I can’t help but feel as if there was something ominous looming over my head. It’s not a comfortable feeling. I can feel things in my time repairing themselves, and yet I feel nervous, edgy.”

“You’re probably just sensing the impending Magog attack,” Trance said soothingly. “I can feel them coming. I warned Dylan this morning that they’re less than a day away.”

Aries shook her head, tugging at her long sleeves. “I don’t think that’s it, but I can’t imagine what else it could be.” She sighed. “I feel a little lost now.”

“I’m sure everything will work out fine, Aries. Your parents will be back to normal in no time, now that things in the past are what they should be.”

“We can’t know for sure if the true relationship between these two will have any kind of impact on my parent’s relationship and their present state,” said Aries as she resumed pacing. “It was speculated that it would, but we can’t say for certain if it will. But even if it doesn’t, having all four Guardians whole and active can’t be a bad thing, can it?”

“We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?”