The Talk, Part 2 (Conclusion)
Every Day - February 2012
Location: Jon’s Quarters, Townsend Tower
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 13 February 2012
ADULT CONTENT WARNING!
FADE BACK IN
Bethany lay beneath Jon, panting, trying to catch her breath, her body vibrating as though a current of electricity were running through every part of her. She smiled up at Jon, a hand moving to caress his face. It made sense that she enjoyed his pleasure nearly as much as her own, but it was still a profound realization for her. “That was amazing,” she said softly, once she managed to catch her breath.
“It was,” Jon panted, burying his face in her breasts as he caught his breath before rolling off of her with the quiet whine of his cybernetic leg. “Sorry I made a mess, luv,” he murmured, turning his head to look at her.
The green-eyed girl looked at Jon, a small smile sitting on her full lips. “You did that last night, too. There’s just no shirt readily available to clean up with,” she said, with a soft laugh. “I didn’t exactly bring extra clothes, so I need mine. I guess I’ll need to take a shower this time.”
“I’m sure Miss Todd would get you some clothes,” Jon said, sitting up. “Well, at least I had the sense last night to pull out…”
Bethany eyed Jon curiously for a moment, her eyes roaming his naked body briefly, then asked, “You don’t want me getting pregnant, right? Is that why you do that?”
Jon nodded. “You’re young. I don’t want to ruin your life before it really gets started,” he told Bethany. “Plus...I don’t even know how that would work, you being a mutant and all that.”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, I was told that one of the functions of my nano is that it acts as a barrier to that,” Bethany said, trying to hide the slight wince when he mentioned her being a mutant. “That, unless I want to get pregnant, I won’t. And honestly, I’m a little terrified of the idea of bringing a child into the world right now, so, if what they said is true, I won’t be getting pregnant any time soon.”
Jon frowned. “Oh,” he said. “I didn’t know that.”
The green-eyed girl arched an eyebrow at Jon and asked, “Didn’t know what? That the nano would stop that, or that I’m afraid to have a baby right now?” Bethany got up and made her way into the bathroom, a bit of a weird look on her face as she walked by Jon, still naked, and trying to keep the sticky mess from running down her nearly perfect body before she got there.
“The nano,” Jon said, sitting up and looking for his shorts. “It’s natural to not want a baby yet at your age, luv.”
It only took a few minutes for Bethany to clean herself up, and she came back out wrapped in towel. She gathered her clothes and sat back down on the bed, looking at Jon. “They said that a lot of people worry about things happening to them. Bad things. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to have kids eventually, it’s just that being in the Underground makes you think. I mean, what if someone forced himself on me? Or what if I had a baby, then something happened to me?”
Jon nodded. “You don’t have to do the Underground,” he reminded her, fidgeting with his new leg.
“I don’t have to, but I’m going to,” Bethany said, her tone turning serious. She turned to face Jon and continued, “Nexus needs to be taken down, Jon. Just as badly as the Preacher did. The things that they do to people...” She paused, paling a bit, then sighed. “Well, you know what they did at the commune. How the Preacher was paid to try to produce mutants there. How they treated them when they found out.”
Jon nodded. “Not saying it doesn’t need to be done,” Jon said. “Just that it doesn’t have to be you. I’m in no shape to keep you safe anymore.” He looked down at his leg.
“So you have to train,” Bethany said with a shrug. “That’s not some normal prosthetic leg, from what they’ve said. You just have to get used to it, and it could be just as functional, if not more so, than your other leg. You just decided to go on a bender and blow off therapy and training.”
Jon glared at Bethany. “You ever lost a limb?” he demanded. “I know guys -- men I served with -- who did. I nearly lost that leg once already to an IED.”
“Nope,” Bethany said, shaking her head. She looked Jon in the eyes and continued, “But I know a man that was nearly dead, nearly lost a limb, and still managed to not leave any of his buddies behind. A sole survivor that dragged his team out. He went through some hell, but he turned out to be one of the best men that I’ve ever known. The best partner a soldier could ask for.”
Jon took a breath. “Sounds like a decent bloke,” he said with a grin. “Heard he was handsome as hell, too. All the ladies…”
Bethany smiled and punched Jon in the arm lightly. “Yeah, he is pretty hot,” she said, then reached up and caressed his face. “Come back to the ranch with me. It’s a pretty nice place, a good place to detox. We can get the therapy orders, and I can train with you. Just a couple of major rules. If we’re together, we’re together. No one else comes between us. And... no more drinking. Never again.”
Jon frowned. “You sure?” he asked. “My leg… If something goes wrong, the tech is here. And...I need to find an AA. I can’t do that in the middle of nowhere, luv.” Jon picked up a coin from the bed table and fingered it. “Three years…” he muttered, chucking the coin against the wall over the trash.
The young woman watched Jon for a moment, then sighed, scooting closer to him and laying her head on his shoulder. “First, if something goes wrong, we’re a portal away,” Bethany said, chuckling slightly. “How do you think I got here so fast? Second, it’s not like it’s just a ranch, Jon. Granted, it’s meant more for at risk kids, but there are counselors there, and others that are going through the same thing that you are. And it’s about ten or so miles from Tahlequah. If you feel that you need AA even with everything else, I’m sure we can find a meeting and get you there.”
“What about...us?” Jon asked. “I’m still quite a bit older than you, luv,” he reminded. “I mean...are yeh even...legal?” he said with a bit of a cringe.
“Apparently I’m at the age of consent for most states, but, even if that’s not enough, I turn eighteen on March thirty-first. Besides, as far as anyone knows, I’m Elizabeth Davis, and I’m already eighteen,” Bethany said, lifting her head to look at Jon, turning his face to her with a gentle hand. “You’re the only one obsessing about the age difference. I love you. That’s really all that matters to me.”
Jon sighed and gave in, kissing her again. “Okay, okay,” he murmured. “I will give it a shot, but it’s going to be a bit before I’m anywhere near capable of anything. And I still think we might want to keep things quiet, for propriety’s sake.”
Bethany returned the kiss and smiled at him softly, “Jon, Dyami has me on the ranch for a reason. He doesn’t think I’m ready to be embedded in a cell. I think he’s afraid that I’m still harboring some kind of death wish, and he’s trying to fix that before he sends me off to do anything dangerous. Besides that, he’s been training me on how to fight people like him, like me, without so many near death experiences, as he put it. So I’m sure he’s okay with us taking some time.”
The girl sighed and her shoulders slumped at the rest, her skin reddening slightly as her gaze dropped to the floor in front of her. “I don’t know why you’re so embarrassed about us, but if you don’t want people to know that there’s something between us, then it’s probably too late. Cece walked in on us, Xander got an eyeful, and Miss Syn showed up right after the fight. We also had to go to medical to get healed. Dyami isn’t stupid, either. He already knew that we had a bond before he bound our souls. And he knows what that bond alone can do.”
Jon groaned and pushed his hand through his normally perfectly coiffed hair. “I guess you’re right, luv,” he admitted. “It’s probably best if we -- if I leave, anyway. I doubt I’m wanted here anymore.”
“Why? Do you think that they play favorites around here?” Bethany asked, giving Jon a raised eyebrow. “Everyone here knows how much you’ve always meant to me. They accepted you, even if you are a bit prickly sometimes,” she teased. Her smile faltered though, as she continued, “I don’t want you to be embarrassed to be with me. If that’s going to be a problem, I don’t know what to do about that. That’s not even something that I can work on, or change, to try to make it better.”
“No, I know,” Jon said. “I just… think it would be better for Cecily and Xander if we weren’t rubbing it in their faces, yeh know, luv? Remember how you felt when I was with Cece?”
“No one seemed to care that I was being torn apart seeing you with her,” Bethany said, her voice soft and sad. “I left because I couldn’t bear it. Hell, until I realized that killing myself could kill you too, I wanted to die. To be honest, I still wanted to die, I just couldn’t stand the idea that you might die with me. I don’t want to rub anything in anyone’s face. I’d never want anyone to suffer the way that I had to. Even after what happened, I was planning on leaving. Whether you’re with me, or not.”
Jon pressed his forehead to Bethany’s. “Killing yourself never solves anything,” he told her. “It just hurts everyone who cares about you.” He sighed. “I am sorry, Bethany,” he murmured. “I am sorry this all got so...complicated.”
“It’s not your fault, really. I let myself fall in love with you. I never meant for this to happen. I was going to come here, knock some sense into you, or die trying,” Bethany said, reaching up to caress Jon’s cheek again.
“I was so furious when I woke up after that night. I was angry that I’d been cheated out of a death that I wanted, that I’d come to terms with. I could have died happy in your arms, rather than have to watch you move on with your life with another woman,” Bethany admitted. Her eyes closed tightly and she sighed heavily. “I was angry with you, with Dyami, for doing this to me. It was like everyone just wanted to see me suffer. Life has been torture for me since that day. I mean, I know now that it was panic, that you didn’t want me to die.”
“I would never want you to die,” Jon asserted. “And it would have passed, in time,” he said. “The pain fades. Trust me,” he said sadly, looking away.
“You’re wrong,” Bethany said, standing and moving in front of him. She lifted his head to look into his eyes. “It’s only gotten more and more painful for me every day that I’ve been away from you. You haunt my dreams, and have for so much longer than this soul bond has existed.” She smiled at him and chuckled. “That night on the road to Chicago? When I fell out of bed? It was because I had dreamed of giving myself to you, and woke up in your arms, exactly the way that the dream had ended. For a moment I thought that it had really happened, and I panicked.” The girl sighed softly. “I’ve loved you for so very long. That’s not going to end, Jon.”
Jon hugged Bethany to him, burying his face in her breasts. “And I love you,” he told her. He sighed, forcing himself up, wincing as the phantom pain shot through him. “I best be getting to hell,” he said, reaching for his cane.
Bethany gave Jon a confused look. She easily took up his cane and handed it to him, a worried look forming on her beautiful face. “Hell? Just what are you planning on doing?”
Jon smirked. “Go to therapy, luv,” he told her. “It’s fucking hell. I’d rather be back in Iraq,” he chuckled darkly as he grabbed a t-shirt and pulled it on.
“Do you want me to go with you?” Bethany asked, the look of worry shifting to one of loving concern. She smiled up at him, continuing, “If you’re coming with me, I need to know what this therapy involves, so I can help you with it.”
“If you want,” he said. “Mostly it’s pretty young women pawing at me.” He flashed Bethany a grin. “You would have to talk to the doctor about helping me.”
“Well, as long as you consider them pawing at you to be hell, I guess I can’t complain too much,” Bethany said with a laugh. “Just give me a minute to get dressed and we’ll charge hell’s gates together.” She stood up on her tiptoes and put her arms around Jon’s neck, kissing him gently, lovingly, before turning to gather up her clothes and head for the bathroom.
Jon paused. “I suppose I should shower so I don’t smell like sex,” he commented, following her with a grin.
NPC Xander Carlisle