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Mirror Universe Commentfic
by LJC

Risk

Chief Engineer Caitlin Barry knows she's signing her own death warrant.

Going after the captain's woman is suicide, plain and simple.

She doesn't care.

She's spent months planning it. Trust is rarely given on Imperial starships, and the First Officer in particular guards hers close. But Cait was patient. All she needed was a moment when they were both alone, guaranteed privacy, where no-one would be able to observe.

She picks her moment at last, waiting until her guard is down after a null-gee ball game in the gymnasium. Number One's dark hair is clinging to her neck, her cheeks flushed and a rare smile curving her lips. She'd beaten Cait savagely, and she was elated from her victory. If there was ever a moment when her guard was done, this was it. Cait's one chance.

She slipped behind her, her hands reaching for her neck as she held her breath.

Number One's lips part in confusion as Cait crowds her against the wall of the locker room, steam obscuring them.

Cait makes her move, pressing her lips to Number One's while she still has surprise on her side.

She pulls back, waiting for the blow, the shouted denial, the inevitable rejection.

There is none. Cait smiles against her lips, and dips her head again to her mouth, hands tangling in Number One's dark hair.


Hangover

Pike came to with the taste of bile in the back of his throat, and the smell of roasting meat in the air. His head was splitting, and his stomach roiled treacherously, but he managed to get upright. The last thing he remembered were two beautiful green women, a full bottle of Saurian brandy, and then darkness.

The room was empty, except for a lone cloaked figure sitting in the chair next to the brazier, sipping string red tea from a chipped mug.

He rolled to his feet, hand going for the laser that would normally be at his hip, but both the weapon and his knife were missing. As were his uniform trousers.

She twitched back her hood, and he relaxed.

"You followed me?"

"A good thing I did. She spiked your drink, and almost slit your throat."

He realised the smell of meat hanging in the air wasn't meat, and glanced over to see the charred remains of what had been a very pretty, very flexible Orian dancer on the floor next to the bed.

Pike caught the bundle of clothes she tossed him reflexively.

"Get dressed. We've new orders—we're supposed to be at the Tarsus outpost by 0600."

He pulled on the gold tunic, and she held out his knife. He hesitated, and then sheathed it on his belt.

"Why did you follow me? Were you jealous?"

"And if I was?"

"You didn't have to kill her."

She lifted a brow.

"You could have let her kill me. You could have had the Enterprise."

Other possibilities hung in the air between them as he pulled on his boots.

"I still might, someday," she said, setting the mug down on the battered wooden table. "But not today."


Welcome Back/Never Leave Again

Imperial Admiral Heihachiro Nogura, his greying hair slicked back and parted on the side, smoothed down the tunic of his dress uniform with one hand. A drink in the other, he navigated the crowd, wending his way through the knots of officers and diplomats until he reached his chosen prey.

She stood by the railing, her long dark hair piled high on top her head with only a single curl escaping to rest against her collarbone. The cut of her dress uniform left her lower back bare, and he drank in the sight of her smooth, unblemished flesh, remembering past pleasures.

"It's good to see you, my dear," he said smoothly as he sidled up to her. "It's been far too long. Welcome home."

She turned and regarded him with cool blue eyes.

"Admiral," she acknowledged his presence with a curt nod.

"Are you enjoying the reception?"

"The performances have been adequate, and the supply of food and drink have been continually replenished as the hour grows late. "

"That's just the sort of answer I'd expect from you," he said with a chuckle. "Almost Vulcan, one might say."

"The Vulcan people have served the Empire well. But as you well know, I am not Vulcan."

Every time he leaned closer to her, she carefully moved away, maintaining the same distance between them. He found it charming.

"No. No, of course not. Won't you humour an old man his idiosyncrasies?"

"You are neither old, nor idiosyncratic," she pointed out, her tone sharp.

"My, we have grown bold here, haven't we?" He reached over to wrap a single curl around his thumb, and she jerked back out of range. "Tell me, will I see you later? I'd like very much to renew our... acquaintance."

"I have duties to perform."

"I'm sure your captain can spare you, if I were to ask him. I've heard he's generous, magnanimous sort when it comes to sharing his prizes."

"Captain Pike has always made sure his crew receive their cut of Romulan and Klingon prizes taken in battle," she said smoothly. "It's won him a fiercely loyal crew."

He gripped her forearm hard enough to leave bruises.

"Dammit, woman. You know what I mean. I'm sure the captain won't mind sharing his woman for a night—or the duration of your visit."

She twisted against his thumb, breaking his hold easily and, as his glass shattered on the deckplates, dislocated his finger. His face turned a particular shade of purple as he bit his lip to keep from crying out.

She leaned forward, her lips brushing his ear, "I am an officer of the Empire, First Officer of one of her most decorated heavy cruisers, and I'm no-one's woman—" she tugged on the rapidly swelling digit, and was rewarded with a startled bark of pain, "—except my own."

She released him as a yeoman came forward with a dustpan and small bush to clear away the mess. Broken glass crunched under her boots as she crossed the room to where Captain Pike was holding court among a handful of diplomats.

"Ah, Number One, there you are," Pike said as he slipped an arm around her waist possessively. "If you'll excuse me," he said politely to his cadre of admirers, who dispersed like mist burning off in the sun, leaving the two of them alone in a corner of the station's reception hall.

"Renewing old acquaintances?" he said, his hand toying with the sash at her waist.

"Quite the contrary," she said with a tight smile. "I might have made a little trouble for you with the Old Man, though."

"Oh, I think I can handle a little trouble," he said, following the admiral's progress towards the 'lifts to the Medbay over the rim of his glass.

"Am I really worth that to you?" she asked, an eyebrow raised.

He leaned forward, his lips tracing the curve of her ear while his hand slipped inside the waistband of her dress shirt to rub the spot just above her hip where he'd left a bitemark earlier.

"All that, and more."


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