Wednesday, 29 January 2014

FB3X Drabble Cascade #46 - After the Pain (NC17/18, fantasy m/m romance)

Contains adult themes,
or language

Fantasy Boys XXX Drabble Cascade

This is Fantasy Boys XXX flash fiction entry for the 46th Drabble Cascade.

Author's Note

This is the 4th and probably final part of my Shantai story - it just keeps coming back to me, and I'm thinking of making a novel out of it, but for now, this is where I want to leave Ata and K. Be warned, it gets quite soppy :).
Part 1 - Exertions
Part 2 - I am You
Part 3 - Alone

After The Pain
by Sophie Duncan

The world was so far away that Ata did not register the way he was violently lifted until it was associated with a warmth that slid into the cold place to which he had descended. He was so weak, he could only respond with the merest flicker of hope from deep inside him, but that protective support flared in response and he surrendered all he had left to its safety. He drifted in that cocoon, no more pain, no thought, just the instinct that nothing could touch him here.

Yet, without his consent, his body and mind drew on the strength around him, lifting him out of the oblivion. He resisted that return of sense, of feeling, afraid of the awful, slow drowning that had taken him out of reality. Still, life would not be denied, and, breath by life-giving breath, Ata rose back to consciousness, his comfort and guide the powerful presence that moved by his side.

As his mind began to work beyond instinct once more, Ata recognised K. He felt his shantai’s mind first, images and emotion not altogether coherent, but very much focused on his own returned consciousness. Then, as his senses came back under his control, he relaxed into the wonderful feel of his shantai wrapped close around him, holding him close against vital flesh and making as much contact, skin to skin, as possible. After the terrible loneliness that had gone before, Ata lay still in K’s hold for as long as he could, the close union mending the hurt that had nearly destroyed him.

Yet, eventually, his limbs began to ache with the stillness and, mainly unconsciously, Ata moved. Only as he stretched did he really discover the extent to which he and his shantai were joined: a tangle of limbs, lying spooned together, K’s poyan rippled at Ata’s movement, pressing up where they had been resting between his legs and wrapping more closely around his groin. Ata gasped and then sighed at the familiar touch, pushing back a little against K’s expansive chest, and he opened his eyes with slow contentment as the e’shant bond flared inside him.

K drew in a deeper breath as well, and Ata felt his shantai’s thoughts waking as arms followed where poyan had led, gripping him more tightly.

[Ata,] filled his mind and the rush of love that came with the thought made Ata whimper with what he had thought lost.

[Shantai,] he replied, or he tried to, but his waking thoughts were now tumbling over themselves in relief and joy and left over fear; he couldn’t help it, he began to shake.

[Gently now, we are safe,] K’s strong, almost calm words slipped in amongst his cascade of emotion, but K’s increasingly firm embrace echoed the small note of ‘not calm’ that K was trying to keep control of.

Ata could do no more than lie in his shantai’s hold and shake, because his limbs were leaden, even his eyes were only half open and not all that focused. They were lying in a bed, a bed that was far too small for K, let alone both of them, and the room was clinically pastel, but Ata could make out none of the details, as blinking did not seem to be clearing his vision. Machines flashed their lights and displays, enough to tell him he was still in a human place of medicine, but everything remained indistinct, so he closed his eyes again and focused on K’s presence.

Neither of them was handling waking very well. Ata could barely breathe given how tightly he was being held, but he knew K was in no state to let go and he didn’t want him to, so, that is how it was for as long as it needed to be. Slowly, though, the warmth of the shantai bond soothed them both, and, as the dull world came back into focus, Ata felt his shaking recede and, in response, K’s tight hold on him relaxed. Lying on his side, the arm underneath him felt dead to Ata, but his other he could eventually move as K’s dual embrace lightened. He was half wearing a hospital gown, that was tangled over his arms and front, it’s fastenings ripped, and his first want was to get rid of it. As he shifted his one free hand and tried to shrug off the useless garment, K reached to help and there was the sound of more ripping as, still holding him protectively with one set of arms, K made light word of tearing the cloth at the shoulder seams. The insipidly blue garment was swiftly scrunched into a ball and K threw it across the room. Ata didn’t see it land, because K then wrapped him back up in both pairs of arms, pulling the sheet up over them again as he did so and then rolled partly onto his back, taking Ata with him.

The poyan released him, which wasn’t a pleasant feeling at all, but Ata started to turn into the embrace, more or less rolling over before K helped him the rest of the way until he was lying on his other side, torso and arm draped over K’s chest and one leg dropped between K’s thighs. Instantly, both limbs that were now uppermost began to tingle as life returned to them, and Ata buried his face in K’s shoulder at the unpleasant sensation.

[Ugh, how long have we been here?] Ata asked, the pins and needles drawing out a little curiosity.

[I have little idea,] K replied, an echo of the pain and panic Ata had been feeling at their separation coming with his thoughts. [You were all that mattered.]

His fingers beginning to work again, Ata slipped his hand down under the sheet and over K’s belly, rubbing as he did so, and he was glad when he found the poyan rippling up to greet him. He played his fingers lightly through the muscular fronds, no energy for much more than the gentle affection, but relieved at the easy tenderness.

[I thought I’d lost you,] the intimacy gave him the courage to admit, and K’s hold tightened over his shoulders for a moment.

Ata relaxed there, his head resting on K’s shoulder, closing his eyes and just filling himself with the sense of his shantai once more.

[The Jakrash had suspected the humans might try to seize you,] K replied, not really surprising Ata, because it had been on his mind as well since the treaty had been signed. [They do not trust the Tach’am.]

[They do not understand it,] Ata snorted his disdain and cuddled closer to K as he wished every doctor on the ship a slow death for what they had tried to do. [They tried to tell me I had been poisoned.]

[They are fools, but do not wish them harm, Ata,] K soothed the little pique by kissing his crown. [They will learn.]

[We almost died,] Ata acknowledged the truth of what he felt in his soul, but not with much venom, since his thoughts were beginning to drift in the comfort of his shantai.

[We should have been able to be apart for some time, not pleasant, but enough time to make them understand,] K sighed into his mind. [Why did you not tell me you were enteri? I would never have risked a parting if I had known.]

[Enteri?] Ata asked, the concept not making any sense in his increasingly sleepy brain.

There was silence for a moment, both inside and out and Ata let himself drift closer to sleep. Yet, after a pause, K continued, [The human term, I believe, is, pregnant.]

That information sliced home.

“Wha-?” Ata choked and pushed himself up off of K’s chest to get a better look at the expression that was telling him the impossible.

He immediately regretted the exertion, because the room went round and he quickly collapsed back into K’s arms, none the wiser as to the set of K’s features. His heart hammered wildly in his chest, partly to do with his movement, but mainly due to the way his thoughts scattered in shock. K propped himself up on one elbow and hauled Ata up against him.

[You know I’m male, right?] Ata checked as denial became his first port of call.

He shot K an image of the first thing he could think of, a very old memory of the talk his father had given him about the birds and the bees. K laughed and rocked him, which didn’t make Ata feel any saner as the information refused to settle in his brain.

[Ah yes, it is the same with my former race as well, I too am male,] K replied as if it was the most sensible conversation they’d ever had.

[Then you know I don’t have the right ‘bits’ to be, to be,] Ata continued, but his thoughts refused to form around the concept.

[Enteri,] K finished for him, apparently taking the idea much better than Ata, in fact, K was joyous. [We are shantai now, Ata, the Tach’am has power beyond flesh. Enteri is rare, we are exceptionally compatible, but it does explain your compulsion for geemi fruit.]

K chuckled at his own joke. Ata did not find it funny.

[I have been...enteri,] he forced out the word in his mind even if the concept made no sense, [for a month already?]

[It will have happened when we bonded,] K agreed, still rocking, but no longer laughing and his thoughts settling to a more serious feel. [You did not feel the difference in yourself?]

[I’ve been feeling different since I landed on your bloody planet,] Ata snarked back and accused, [Why didn’t you feel it?]

Silence again and Ata was too confused to add any more. K took his time before he replied with a dawning realisation that slid into Ata as well, [I suppose I may have. I did not know what it meant either. I only knew when our parting began to cause pain.]

[I’m sorry I hurt you,] Ata immediately confessed. [I tried to make them understand.]

“The blame is not yours, Shantai,” K growled low from the back of his throat.

[It was my father,] Ata continued his admission, guilty by association. [He is a powerful man and he wished me to return to my career.]

[I know,] K replied quickly. [The obstinate creature tried to prevent me reaching you even once the Jakrash were aboard this human ship.]

[Did you hurt him?] Ata checked, part of him not sure if he would have been pleased about that.

Silence, which rather mixed up Ata’s already conflicted emotions.

[Did you?] Ata eventually prompted, unable to take not knowing.

[My actions at that time are not clear to me. I believe I may have roared in his face, but I do not know if I resorted to violence,] K finally revealed, regret heavy in his thoughts.

It wasn’t a whole answer, but it was an honest one and it had to do, because Ata was discovering he had used up what energy reserves he had regained since the parting. All the new information left him feeling vulnerable and there was only one thing left certain in his life. With the last of his energy, Ata gave a small tug on K’s hip, urging him back onto his side and, as his lover followed his request, he hooked his leg over K’s uppermost thigh. K needed no more instruction, he pulled Ata’s weakened body close once more and poyan swept comfortingly into Ata’s invitation. He was too tired to be truly aroused, but the comfortingly intimate ripple enclosed his cock and balls and trickled over the sensitive skin behind his sac to his entrance. He wriggled forward a little more, brushing his shaft against the velvet softness of K’s veva pouch and, as a few gentle poyan slipped inside him, he let his connection with his shantai flare.

[I am you,] his thoughts murmured as the warmth took away the rest of his strength and he descended towards sleep.

[And I am you,] K’s assertion drifted down into slumber with him.


Ata sat on the edge of the examination table, legs dangling, arms folded and a glare that could freeze lava on his face. He was glowering at a trio of human doctors, all with their sensors and readings in hand, who were looking back at him with a good deal of trepidation. He knew that was probably due to seven feet of shantai standing behind the table at his left shoulder, features set in aloof disdain if Ata knew K, but he was glad to see they were intimidated, anyway. Eventually, the most senior, Dr Grayless, he had introduced himself as earlier that morning, lifted his tablet in front of his chest and took in a deep breath.

“Mr Williams,” he began.

“Ata,” he and K corrected immediately.

Grayless didn’t quite step back, but it was close and he paled: this time he was definitely looking at K.

“Ata,” the doctor continued eventually, his gaze only cautiously returning to Ata. “You remain 100% male. Except for a minor fluctuation in your hormone levels, there are absolutely no physiological changes to your system. You are not, as you say, pregnant.”

Ata’s thoughts scattered for the umpteenth time. It had been almost a day since he had woken from his coma and he and K had had to let the doctors back into his room eventually. During that time, he had been working his way to accepting the truth of things. He felt it in his whole being now he knew what it was, he was ‘with child’ as he had worked out was a better translation than the more specific term of ‘pregnant’. To have a doctor deny it made him angry and afraid.

“Enteri, physician,” K corrected and placed hands protectively on Ata’s shoulders.

Ata leant back and let K do the talking.

“The power of the Tach’am is beyond your limited machines.”

“With all due respect,” another one of the doctors, Syvan, Ata thought she was called, then stepped in, waving her handheld data recorder like a weapon.

“Those words I have learnt mean nothing of the sort,” K interrupted her, his tone lowering. “Have your machines isolated the device by which you believe me to have enslaved my shantai, by which he dies without my touch?”

“Not yet,” Syvan returned, her lips pursing with annoyance.

Ata was glad of K’s possessive hold dropping down over his chest then, because even he had concluded the bonding had to have involved some kind of venom, when, according to every law of science, it did not.

“And you will find none if you look for eternity, not with your machines,” K barked back, leaning over Ata’s shoulder as he did so. “Your examinations are now at an end. Allow us to leave this ship, or the treaty is broken.”

The doctors clearly didn’t care one jot for the treaty, since their faces just hardened at the threat. However, someone else did, someone whom Ata had suspected had to be watching the dance of scans and other tests that they had run that morning. An intercom system clicked on and a disembodied voice, his father’s voice, ordered, “Thank you, Doctors, you may go.”

Ata watched the physicians leave and only reluctantly relaxed when they were gone, since he was aware of the remote attention on them, but he was still tired and he needed K’s strength.

[I want to go home,] he revealed, closing his eyes as a wave of weariness overtook him.

He’d never really had a home before: he’d spent his life on spaceships and stations around the galaxies, wherever his father’s postings had taken his family, but he knew where he wanted to be now, his skin warmed by the fiery heat of the Jakrash home world. He knew he projected his need directly to his shantai, but he had no idea he would be taken literally until K picked him up and, cradling him in his lower pair of arms, headed towards the door.

There was movement and noise after that, some yelling, including his father’s voice, but Ata left it all to K, his own energy all used up. He hadn’t known they were back on the Jakrash planet, not until the bay doors opened and he felt the wonderful heat sweep over him. Knowing he was where he wanted to be, Ata let go completely and he was slumbering before K had taken them off the ramp.


Ata spent the next dozen days sleeping, eating and then sleeping some more as his energies slowly recovered from the shock of separation. In all that time, K was never far away, protective, loving and prepared to fight any doctor who disturbed Ata, even the Jakrash ones, who seemed to have a much better handle on what was happening to him. It was only when Ata began to move around their rooms unaided that K allowed anyone in for more than a few minutes and, finally, Ata submitted to a full examination. However, it was rather different than the human poking and prodding.

Ata squeezed his eyes shut and tried to relax, but it was a really strange, itchy sensation that was running out from the bridge of his nose all the way through his body and he had the oddest feeling he wanted to sneeze.

“Good,” Y’a Trem announced brightly and drew her palm back from Ata’s forehead.

He opened his eyes to see a bright smile being sent his way. Y’a Trem’s green eyes were twinkling and she clapped her lower set of hands together. Y’a Trem was like no physician Ata had ever known. He guessed she was about the same age as Syvan had been, but she was nowhere near as serious and she didn’t rely on any equipment as far as Ata had been able to discern. In fact, she reminded him more of a hippy commune his father had been sent to mediate with for six months when he was a boy.

“Congratulations!” she announced, standing up as K walked over to where doctor and patient had been sitting at the table and she actually guided K round to Ata’s side.

Unlike in front of the human doctors, Ata had no qualms about reaching out and taking hold of one of K’s hands as he waited for the verdict.

“It’s twins,” Y’a Trem continued, clapping both pairs of hands this time, slightly out of sync, and beaming at the couple.

K made a slightly strangled sound and sat down. Ata knew he was missing something as the doctor reached out and patted K reassuringly on the arm and carried on, “It’s the human influence.”

“Twins are not normal?” Ata checked just to make sure the translator he had turned on just for the doctor’s visit was working correctly, although ‘not normal’ seemed a slightly absurd thing to ask, considering the circumstances.

“Always only one,” K replied breathily, his eyes even rounder than usual.

“Nearly always,” Y’a Trem corrected with a waggle of her finger and a wink, which Ata took as a positive reaction. “Let us just say that a multiple birth would, only a few decades ago, have had religious significance. Still will in less secular circles.”

Ata had only brushed the surface of the religions of Jakrash in his short time of learning and he had not discussed it with K, but from the shock coming off K in waves, he had a feeling his lover was not completely secular. Getting up, he walked round behind K and wrapped him in his arms.

[Are you alright, Shantai?] he asked.

There was nothing but a jumble of emotions in response and Ata couldn’t really unpick them to draw any conclusions. Y’a Trem smiled at him when he glanced up at her over K’s head. She then leant over and, reaching out with both right hands, drew a circle with her thumbs on each of the partner’s foreheads.

“Esthrkel,” she intoned, nodded at them both and then left.

When K didn’t move, even after their doctor had left, Ata pushed the small table out of the way and knelt down in front of his shantai.

[K?] he prompted, looking up into the wide-eyed gaze which told him very little.

Then he saw it, a twitch of K’s mouth and a small crease appeared at the side of each eye. K then blinked, something that was very unusual and as that golden gaze opened once more, the beginnings of a smile became an all out grin. Hands grabbed for him and Ata tensed as he was lifted off the ground and dropped into K’s lap. However, as he landed astride K’s hips, the simple robe he was wearing parting easily around them, a healthy bulge pressed up behind his balls and he realised the pale set to K’s cheeks was not all shock. He flexed his hips as his own libido took notice of K’s arousal and listened to K rumble quietly under his breath.

Four hands gripped him tightly at bicep and hip, and Ata stilled, looking across into ‘his alien’s gaze.

[You are incredible,] K told him in a reverent whisper.

[We did this,] Ata corrected, stroking his palm over K’s cheek and round behind his head, and then leaning forward.

His lips brushed K’s and almost instantly they parted. Ata took the offer, deepening the kiss and searching out K’s tongue with his own. Little starts of power and desire started to fire inside him as soon as his tongue met the damp power in K's.  Unable to help himself, Ata groaned. He knew now, this was about energy, about a power that his human science would have described as magic, ethereal and unreadable. Yet he felt it, it was running through him, using him, making life that he didn’t yet understand. Part of him was scared of the unknown, no matter how brightly those who knew about these things spoke of what was happening. Yet, he was in love, he was more content that he had ever hoped to be, and he needed to show that to his shantai.

Ata pulled back and reached for his own robe first, unhooking it and letting it fall off his body, enjoying the rush of desire that ran through him as K drank in the sight of him. Then, slowly, he reached down to where K’s robe still hid the passion beneath and began to push the material out of the way. K had been very careful with him since their return, gentle petting and poyan stroking their ways of reaffirming their bond as Ata had slowly recovered. Yet, now he was stronger and he wanted more.

K, breath a little tighter than normal, cheeks flushed almost white, merely steadied Ata’s position as he rumpled up the clothing until, finally, K’s dark, proud veva came into view amongst his swirling mass of poyan. Ata’s own growing arousal throbbed at the promise there and he urged K slightly lower in the chair. K went where Ata wanted him and Ata smiled his hunger at his lover. Inching himself forward, the head of his erection catching tantalisingly on the folds of K’s robe, Ata positioned himself over the focus of his desire and then sank down. The first wonderful ache as he began to open made Ata moan, and he was not alone in his sound. K shuddered from head to foot and let out the most delicious groan Ata had ever heard. The shivers ran up into him and Ata soaked them into his own passions as he slowly sank down around his shantai.

After twelve days of mainly abstinence, Ata was not as forceful as his instincts wanted to be as he adjusted to the renewal of their most intimate union, and he paused as he came to rest as closely joined to his shantai as he could be. K held him steady as they both settled into the moment and Ata leant forward to catch another kiss. As far as he’d been able to learn, kissing was not something Jakrash did, but he was glad that K seemed to find as much pleasure in it as he did, and, as soon as the little lights began to go off in his brain again, Ata began to move. He lifted himself a little way off his lover and then sank quickly back down. K met him halfway, thrusting back up into him and Ata panted through their kiss. He clenched around his shantai, wanting to hold onto the incredible, full feeling and K obliged.

Yet, they were not in the most sustainable of positions, and so, eventually, K dropped away a little. Ata whined and followed the movement, coming to rest again fully seated on his lover. He was still panting, though, and it was his turn to shake, but not from desire. He growled as he realised he was not as fit as he wanted to be and chose to ignore the warnings his body was giving him. He moved to lift himself up again, his thighs trembling as he did so and K grabbed him firmly round the waist. He couldn’t fight his own weaknesses and the strong grip on his body at the same time, so Ata growled again and wriggled. K did have the decency to shudder at the lustful input Ata gave him, but he did not let go, in fact, he held more tightly.

[Let me,] K soothed the frustration threatening Ata’s mood and rubbed his upper set of palms up and down Ata’s spine.

It felt divine and Ata relaxed into the sensation, closing his eyes for a moment. As he leant back, K supported them both and surprised Ata by standing up and gently lowering Ata onto the table behind them. It was not the largest of tables, leaving Ata’s head and the upper edge of his shoulders hanging off the other side, but it was a sturdy little thing, Ata knew from experience. Its joints squeaked, but K braced their new arrangement and, eagerly, Ata wrapped his legs up around his shantai’s hips. K then rocked gently forward, holding Ata still as he did so. Still panting, but with no fear he would not be able to finish what they had started this time, Ata tipped his head back and invited all that K could give.

K’s thrusts were long and steady, far from the frenzy of their early love-making, but just as maddeningly arousing and Ata reached for his lover leaning over him. The little shots of lightning were everywhere in him now, brighter than he remembered, more insistent as they underlined the union he had made with his alien and he looked up into the developing bliss on K’s face as well. He stroked K’s cheek, but then let his touch and gaze fall away, closing his eyes and concentrating on the sensations within him. The power of the Tach’am was there, running in his veins and he could feel his partner through it. They were shantai, lovers bound by something bigger than them both. Ata let the power take him, experiencing K both physically and through the deep desire that drove the energies between them and he felt his shantai rising to climax as his own passions grew in tandem. He smelt the thick musk of K’s arousal, embraced the bodily pleasure of his lover and followed him to both real and ethereal climax, releasing his ascent on every level.


When he woke up, Ata found himself in bed, wrapped closely once more by K’s protective embrace. He flushed a moment with embarrassment that he had to have passed out and a chuckle in his ear did not help, so he wriggled indignantly.

[Peace, my shantai,] K soothed, loosening his hold.

Ata could have got up then, his muscles were singing with left over exertion, but he was feeling strong enough. Yet, the temporary disgruntlement warred with the really nice way K so close made him feel and Ata huffed, but did not move.

[Are you alright?] K then risked the question, which, logically Ata knew was not unfair considering his recent weaknesses, but he had to bite on a hasty retort.

Hands rubbed over his body then, the light touch of their palm ridges gently easing away the momentary pique and Ata, despite the last tendrils of irrational annoyance still running through him, found himself relaxing against his partner.

[I will be,] he finally replied as his embarrassment began to feel absurd.

As he stilled, he began to sense the strangeness that he had not registered before the separation from K. Everything was so different from what he had had planned for his life, but the enforced isolation that had nearly destroyed him had underlined how much things had changed for the better. As he lay in the arms of his shantai, he felt whole and, closing his eyes he let the new and wonderful rhythms in his being lead him back to sleep.



  1. I didn't think this was soppy at all. *grins* Loved it. Yes. Novel.
    *whines* Final part?!? As in ... wait novel. Final part that will be put up here but will appear later in the novel. *nods head* Not to seem too pushy but "Get Writing"

  2. This story is too god for words. That's all I have to say.

    1. I am really glad you like it - you've made my day with your comments, thank you :D