By Seema

Author's note: In a fit of insanity, I offered to write ficlets for people if they provided two out of four following items in addition to the series: pairing/character, location, object, or setting. People actually took me up on the offer and here is one of the results.

It's a short one, but much thanks to Sara Goose and Rocky for looking this one over. This one is for Moireach.


He can hear the shower and closes his eyes. The cotton sheets -- so cool when she slid into bed with him hours earlier -- are now hot and sweaty, twisted around his legs. His heart pounds rapidly, his skin is flushed, and he feels almost feverish. He thinks about getting out of bed, of going to the closet to pull out a clean uniform. But he needs a shower first and she -- Kira -- is in the bathroom.

He asked for the lights to remain off the first time he touched her. He kept his eyes closed when she branded his skin with the touch of her lips. He bit his lip, didn't call out, as he entered her. And he never looked her in the eye.

He hears the water turn off. A few seconds later, she is standing in the bedroom, a white towel wrapped around her lithe figure, her short hair wet and flat against her head.

"Miles?" she says his name uncertainly. He doesn't blame her; he doesn't know how to define their new relationship either. He knows he loves his wife, misses her desperately, and the last thing he expected was to wake up in Kira's bed. But this wasn't the first time and he knows it won't be the last; after all, she has cleared a space for him in her bathroom vanity. He has a toothbrush here. He keeps a spare uniform in her closet.

They haven't showered together yet.

He doesn't look at her as he reaches for his shorts. Somehow, he pulls them on, keeping the sheets strategically positioned as he does. Kira turns away.

He knows she knows he doesn't love her. He consoles himself with the knowledge that he does care very deeply for her, that they do have a bond, built over the months when she carried his son beneath her heart.

The warm pulse of water beats out the tension in his body. It washes away the imprint of Kira's fingers on his skin, the heat of her kisses, the pressure of her body against his. He turns his face up to the water.

"Miles." Her tone is sharp. There's something about the way she says his name this time that reminds him of his wife. "You'll be late."

He doesn't have time to dry his hair.

He grabs a towel and steps out, naked, into the bedroom. Kira is already dressed, her hair slicked back, her lips a bright red slash against an otherwise pale face. She's wearing her uniform, the clinging orange-red outfit he has gotten so adept at peeling off her.

"Here," she says brusquely, handing him his uniform. "I'll wait for you out there--" she points to the living area -- "we can go to Ops together."

He nods, mumbles "thank you" under his breath. Her boots click on the floor as she walks away. And then, what she said to him, finally registers.

"Nerys," he calls.

The clicking stops. "What?"

"Why don't you go on without me?" he tries not to sound desperate. "You don't have to wait."

"We have a few minutes." She lounges on the sofa, sipping raktajino from an orange mug. Curiously relaxed, he thinks, and it bothers him that Kira isn't more bothered about the situation they are currently in. Her lips curl up now as she realizes he's looking directly at her. "I can wait."

He puts his hand to his hair. When wet, his curls temporarily straighten, and strands of hair now brush against his ears. "But..." The words are caught in his throat.

Her features softens. "Miles," she says, "they already know."

~ the end

Author's note 2: Moireach's request: Kira/O'Brien and wet hair

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