Specs: Tron Legacy, Alan/Quorra, 6400 words
Rating: R for mild sexytimes
Alan was a lot of things. Tired, for one. The tired probably came with being old, which was something he didn't like to consciously acknowledge. Age had crept up on him with cold, sneaky fingers, and he didn’t realize what was happening until bam! One day there it was, poking him in the face. The day he looked in the mirror and saw that his hair was nearly all gray. The day he raked leaves and felt it in every muscle for the next week. The day he woke up and had to sit on the edge of his bed for a minute, feeling the carpet under his bare feet, waiting for his body to catch up. The day he smiled at a pretty girl and got a smile back, but it was the friendly, absent smile pretty girls give to their grandpas, not their lovers.
Alan was also lonely. Lora had been gone three years. She’d wanted something other than Los Angeles, something other than Encom, something other than long nights spent alone while he was in some meeting, fixing some crisis, dealing with Sam. She wanted something other than what they had, and Alan, a creature of habit, hadn’t known how to give it to her. The parting had been amicable and easy, and Alan had been left with a house he hadn’t decorated, rooms he never entered, a yard that had known the cries and laughs of a child only too briefly and sporadically.
Talk about bam. One day Sam had been a kid, some odd mixture of foundling and nephew, and the next day he was a man, a man who liked to needle Alan, who had never liked being needled. A man with a rakish grin and a propensity for doing stupid things and Alan, who hadn’t done stupid things even when he’d been a kid himself, never knew how to talk to him.
But he needed to talk to him now. After the mysterious page, Sam had seemed a different person. He’d announced he was prepared to claim his inheritance, he’d made Alan chairman, and he’d had a light in his eyes that spoke to a purpose. Finally, a purpose; Alan had been trying to get the kid to have some direction in his life for years, and now that it looked like Sam had one, Alan didn’t quite know what to do. But as soon as Flynn’s son had appeared to turn over a new leaf, everything went back to normal. Unanswered phone calls, no contact. The board wanted to talk to Sam, but Sam wasn’t answering.
Alan got up bright and early. He bought some donuts, knowing Sam liked anything that was bad for him. He drove over to the kid’s apartment, that odd little two-story garage with the interesting view. He was expecting to hear excuses, recriminations, empty promises. He hadn’t expected the door to open and reveal a lovely dark-haired girl with shining eyes and a brighter smile.
“Hello?” Alan asked when the girl just beamed at him. He should have known. It wasn’t the first time he’d checked in on Sam to find some beautiful young thing – there one day, gone the next. He’d never seen the same one twice. A half-hearted lecture once on how to treat women, about being a gentleman; ah well.
This girl’s smile slowly died, and she stared at Alan with something on her face he couldn’t place, hadn’t seen before. He took a careful step back, sure that for whatever reason, she was afraid.
“I’m sorry,” he said, feeling awkward holding the bag of donuts, never knowing how to talk to Sam’s conquests. “I was just looking for Sam.”
“Tron,” she whispered.
“My security program?” Alan didn’t know what was going on; Sam didn’t usually pick up computer geeks, that was for sure. Now the girl’s eyes got even wider, white all around, and Alan made himself quit staring. She was definitely the prettiest of Sam’s girlfriends. The strangest, too, considering that he’d finally deciphered the look on her face; not fear, but awe.
“You’re Alan Bradley. Tron’s user.” The words came out hushed, reverent. She reached out one timid hand, the fingers stopping several inches from his arm. Then she jerked her fingers back as though the air itself had burned her, and Alan was simultaneously flattered and flummoxed to see a light pink blush slowly stain her cheeks. The girl stepped aside, allowing him entrance. She averted her eyes, and Alan bit back the sudden urge to put a hand on her shoulder, or maybe that glossy dark hair. For comfort, because that’s what Alan did; he was the boring, steady rock who said the right things that no one ever listened to.
Alan set the donuts down, stuck his hands in his pockets. The apartment was almost astringently neat, something he'd never seen, and it was a little scary. He’d once watched Sam use an old piece of pizza as a straight-edge in a school art project.
“Sam left to buy things. Things he said he needed for his new job. I didn’t want to go. I’m still a little…” She trailed off, and Alan saw that she had put her foot in her mouth. What she’d kept herself from saying, and how it could be incriminating, he didn’t know.
“What’s your name?” he asked her.
“Quorra,” she said, all wide eyes and pink cheeks again. She reminded Alan of a doe – graceful, ethereal, yet with some hidden strength just visible in the planes of her face, the lines of her limbs. And for whatever reason, he was the car with burning bright headlights bearing down on her.
“Would you mind if I sat down for a little bit, Quorra? If he’s not back in, say, fifteen minutes, I’ll leave him a message.” She nodded, and they both sat on the couch, a few feet apart. She was tense and he was awkward; it promised a rather excruciating fifteen minutes to come. Alan gestured to the bag on the table in front of them, and Quorra reached out tentative fingers to snag it. She unrolled the top, and then she looked down into the bag with a pale echo of the way she’d looked at Alan at the door.
And then, then…she put her head down into the bag and sniffed. Not a delicate little sniff, but an unabashed, whole-hog sniff. Then she looked up at Alan and grinned, that grin that had been on her face when she’d opened the door – the grin that said, I am just that happy, and I’m going to infect you with it. “What are they?” she asked, clearly delighted.
What are they? Alan blinked, years and years of board meetings having trained him to carefully keep his face still, to keep the surprise out of his eyes. Alan had run into some hippies in his day, in various states of crunchy, but he hadn’t met anyone who hadn’t at least seen a donut before.
“They’re donuts,” he answered, and her smile fell away again. Her face was so expressive, it was almost a little eerie.
“I don’t know if I can eat nuts,” Quorra confided. “Sam didn’t…” Again, she trailed off, that look like she’d said too much.
“There’s no nuts. Just a couple glazed, a couple chocolate.” That smile again, and Quorra pulled out a donut, looked it over, and took a bite. Her eyes fluttered, then closed.
“Mmmmrff wwrrngggg!” she moaned out, words masked by her mouthful of donut, or pleasure so strong she was unable to articulate it, Alan couldn’t say. She looked at him, a silly tilt of her head, and Alan was reminded of the time he’d taken Sam to a ballgame, and had told the kid he could get whatever he wanted – the look on the ten-year-old’s face had been the same. Joy, and gratitude. Quorra finished the donut, never looking away from Alan, and he couldn’t help but take in the show. When she finished, she started licking her fingers clean; he didn’t need to be watching Sam’s girlfriend, his pretty young girlfriend, lick her fingers, so he looked down at his pants instead. Fiddled with the creases there, examined the hangnail on his thumb.
Movement, fabric rustling. Alan looked up to find Quorra perched right beside him, staring at his face. Most people would look away, pretending they hadn’t been staring, embarrassed to be discovered scrutinizing someone else so closely. Quorra didn’t even blink. She brought her fingers up, ghosted them against his hair, over his crow’s feet, down his cheek. Gentle, soft, like the whisper of a feather against his skin.
“You look like him, but different. You’ve changed.” Alan didn’t know what to say, didn’t even know what to think, so he allowed this oddly intimate, careful examination. Quorra’s finger gently traced his jaw, the bridge of his nose. Ran along his bottom lip. She’s Sam’s girlfriend, she’s at least thirty years younger than you, and there’s something…odd about her, I don’t know yet what it is. Don’t think about it, Bradley. Don’t.
“Changed,” she said again, something wan and unknowably sad in her voice. “I watched Flynn change, too.”
Alan could have asked stupid questions. Could have ignored the flash of insight, everything clicking into place. Instead he sucked in a sudden breath, his fingers numb in his lap. “Kevin. You’ve seen Kevin.”
Quorra nodded. “The Creator.”
He didn't know how to ask, couldn't even contemplate how it could be true, but he did it anyway. “Are you a program?”
Now she shook her head. “I’m something else.”
It poured out of her then, the story Sam should have told him two days ago. Kevin, trapped in the Grid. Their programs, Clu and Tron, corrupted; one by self-righteousness, the other by force. Cain and Abel – there were no innocents left in the Garden.
“One moment I was nothing. The next I was aware. I have always been myself. No one created me – I have no user.” Sadness at that, as though she were acknowledging she had no legs. “We didn’t know what we were. We watched, and tried to learn. I saw you – I mean, I saw your program. Tron. I thought he would find us first, but it was the other. And then he…he…”
They took a walk then, out in the sunshine. Alan held her hand, marveling in the sensation of her flesh and blood, the beat of her pulse, the warmth of her skin. He believed her. He had no reason to – she offered no proof, and her physical existence outside the Grid should be impossible – but he did nonetheless. Maybe it was the way her eyes brightened when a flock of birds flew overhead; the way she turned her face up to greet a cool breeze; the way she rubbed her thumb against his hand, back and forth. She was something different – a forgotten daughter of Zeus washed up on a foreign shore, sea foam still clinging to her hair.
Alan brought her down to the water, and they sat. She dipped her bare toes down, tears melting away as she giggled. “So much is the same, but it isn’t,” she said. “I feel every moment that it’s the first time I’ve seen, or heard, or smelled. There is no hot or cold in the Grid, no soft or rough.” She said the words like a kindergartener sounding out her first real book. “Sensation there is imperfect, a rendering of digital information, a construct. Flynn imagined the Grid as a city, as a three-dimensional space that obeys the laws of this reality’s physics. And so it was. But programs don’t need light to see by. They don’t need to eat, they don’t need to sleep. Now, if I don’t eat, I feel…” Quorra put a hand to her stomach. Her mouth opened and closed, searching for the right word.
“Pain,” he supplied.
“I hit my toe against a table. Sam said that was pain.”
“There are different kinds of pain,” he laughed.
“Seeing the sun, brushing my hair.” A shy smile his way. “Eating the donut. Those are different feelings.”
“Pleasure,” Alan said, and he found himself swallowing against a sudden lump in his throat. Quorra lifted their hands, still clasped between them.
“I find this pleasurable, too,” she said. Her eyes turned to his, bright, china-blue in the sunlight. Innocent, naïve. “Why is it pleasurable to touch someone else?”
Alan looked back out over the water. He’d thankfully been able to leave the birds and the bees talk to Sam’s grandfather, and had hoped that meant he’d escaped scot-free. He didn’t really want to head down this road with a spontaneously-generated computer entity made manifest. “Human beings are animals,” he said, gesturing vaguely with his free hand. “Animals tend to be social. They touch each other for a lot of different reasons.”
“Sam doesn’t touch me,” she said suddenly, and then sighed. “He did on the Grid. He held me, carried me. But now…now if I get too close, it’s as though he’s afraid. As though I would harm him. But I wouldn’t, Alan.”
He’s probably got it bad for you, Quorra, he thought. He’s the one that doesn’t want to hurt you. But Alan didn’t know how to say that to her, wasn’t sure she’d understand in any event. Programs also didn’t need to procreate.
They sat in silence for awhile. Alan hadn’t realized just how lonely he’d been till this moment – just sitting with someone else, holding hands, was the most real physical contact he’d had in years. It was like a cool balm on an itch he hadn’t even been aware of. Quorra sighed, rested her head against his shoulder.
“Did Sam tell you where he was going?” Alan asked, hating to break the silence. But there were still questions that needed answering, and a lot of work to do. Here. In the real world. But no wonder Sam had been incommunicado; what was work when you had the equivalent of a newborn to introduce to the world?
“Lots of places,” she said, matter-of-fact. “He said he would be gone hours. I…didn’t want to tell you that. I didn’t want you to leave.” Alan couldn’t help smiling, and his smile only grew when she reached up to touch the corner of his mouth.
“There are no dreams on the Grid,” she said, her voice very close to his ear. “Except for Flynn, though he only told me about them once. I think he had bad dreams. Dark dreams. But I dream now. Last night I dreamed that I was with you. With Tron, I mean. We were high above the Grid, but the sun was shining. There were programs far below, so small we couldn’t see their faces. Tron said to me, ‘We have to keep an eye out. A storm is coming.’” Quorra snuggled against him more closely, her body warm against his. “Flynn told me that dreams have meaning. That our minds tell us things we don’t otherwise want to hear. What did my dream mean, Alan?”
Alan was a lot of things. Pragmatic, for one. Kevin had been the guy to bring up what a fortune teller had said to him, explain how her words should decide board policy; Kevin had liked to get high and wax philosophically about anything and everything while Alan had nursed one single joint for hours, usually just getting sleepy and nothing else; Kevin had liked to talk about dreams. “Last night I had a wild one, man,” he’d said once, back in the halcyon days between his trip to the Grid and his disappearance. He’d slid an arm over Alan’s shoulders, that easy familiarity that always left Alan feeling vaguely tongue-tied. “Three different chicks – dream chicks, you know, the kind you know in the dream, but you don’t remember the face when you wake up. Three. Let me tell you, Bradley, for about ten seconds, when I was still hunting for the snooze, I thought about calling you and telling you to come over and join us!”
Alan shook his head, hoping that would shake off the memory as well. Years of stubborn hope finally ended; he’d never see Kevin again, except in the ghost that sometimes peeked out of Sam’s face.
“I don’t know,” he said, coughing a little against the hoarseness in his voice, the insidious promise of tears at the back of his throat. “Maybe…you feel responsible for those left behind? Maybe you feel guilty that you escaped and they didn’t?” He chanced a look down, and Quorra stared up at him with wet eyes that told him he was right.
He stood, helping her up. Had he felt old this morning? Had he squinted at the paper, even with his glasses on? Had his shoulders been stiff until he’d stood beneath the shower head for a solid five minutes? Hard to remember, now. Clouds wafted over the sun, and Quorra shivered; Alan put an arm around her, kept her hugged close. She tucked her head under his chin, an arm tight around his waist. Back to the apartment, back to the couch, but no space between them now. They talked, and talked, and talked.
Alan waited. He waited for the young man to tell him what had happened. Waited for the confession, waited for the invitation to come over and meet her. But the call never came. Every day that went by was a day that Sam would eventually have to explain. Of course, Alan was no better. He didn’t tell Sam, the next time he saw him, that he had stopped by his place. Didn’t give Sam the opening to bring Quorra up himself. Didn’t just flat-out tell the kid that he knew all about her, knew all about Sam’s little trip to the Grid. Alan was a lot of things. Stubborn, for one. He dug in his heels and waited for Sam to call.
Instead, it was Quorra who called him. Every morning, when Sam was in the shower. During Alan’s lunch hour. At night, when Sam went for a ride around the city. And all day, texts, texts, texts. She had to be shown how to wash her hair, how to cut a piece of meat, how to unlock a door, but anything that had anything to do with computers, Quorra understood instantly. Alan had resisted cell phones for years and years, stubbornly clinging to his pager, but sometimes he was away from his computer for a few minutes, once a whole hour, and Quorra started to panic if he didn’t answer her right away. And he hated trying to type on the damned tablet. So he gritted his teeth and he got a cell phone. And he hated it, he hated it, but he hated it a little less every time it buzzed against his leg.
“Alan, some plants die and have to be replaced every year, and some plants come back on their own after the winter. Why? The book doesn’t say.” She had started with books on chemistry and physics; now she had moved on to biology. A lot of her texts ended with why? and Alan hated to tell her I don’t know.
“The same way some atoms join to form molecules, and some don’t,” he texted back. Thirty seconds later the phone buzzed again.
“Atoms form bonds based on their number of available electrons. What does that have to do with plants?”
He’d tried the scientific version of the more philosophical some things just are, but Quorra had a way of seeing through that. Cutting through the bullshit, Kevin would have said. “It all depends on how the plant evolved.”
“But why did some evolve to not continually self-replicate?”
“This way, something else has to participate in the growing cycle. Insects, animals, humans. The biological world depends on symbiotic relationships.”
“Users and programs.”
She tended to relate things back to her existence on the Grid. When she wasn’t peppering him with questions, she was keeping him well-informed as to her day-to-day activities. As she mostly stayed at the apartment, these could be…interesting texts, mostly in how if they came from anyone else, they wouldn’t be interesting at all.
“Alan, when I was in the shower some of my hair came out. My hair never came out in the Grid.”
“Alan, cheese tastes different when I melt it.”
“Alan, after I ate the sandwich I made another sandwich because it tasted good. Then I was very sleepy, even though it was the middle of the day. Is sleep the same as tapping into a power source? Why would I need extra sleep just because I ate an extra sandwich?”
Then one morning she didn’t text him at all. Alan kept checking his phone, sure that it was dead, that it had buzzed and he hadn’t felt it, that somehow he had done something to the phone and screwed it up. But one hour went by without a single text, then two, then three. She didn’t call at lunch. Alan canceled his afternoon appointments and drove over to Sam’s apartment; first pushing his car to five miles per hour over the speed limit. Then ten. Then twenty. Images kept flashing through his mind – Alan was only ever creative when he was imagining the worst. Quorra, having tripped and hit her head, lying on the floor – blood everywhere. The building on fire, the flames too strong to let him run in and save her. Or worse, and the image his mind kept returning to: he could go through the whole place, inside and out, and never find her. She would just be gone
(just like Kevin)
and he would never know any more than that. He’d be left wondering what had happened to her. If there had been any pain, if she’d been afraid. And the truth, if it ever came, would be no consolation.
Alan parked his car with a squeal of the brakes, and ran up to the side door; he couldn’t remember the last time he’d run, or felt his heart hammer like this, the pulse pounding in his head, driving out all other sound. He hit the buzzer and waited, then used his key.
“Quorra?” he called out, looking for something amiss, looking for clues. But the apartment was in order, and only silence answered him. He no longer had any desire to run. Hands balled into fists, slow steps up the stairs in the back to the little room that Quorra had claimed as her own. Alan could taste stale adrenaline on the back of his tongue.
Just as he came to the door, there was a sound from inside the room. A low moan, and Alan felt his heart shudder in his chest. He flung the door open, not knowing what he would see but knowing it would be awful, so when he was greeted with the sight of Quorra naked on her back, her hands working furiously between her legs, he found himself staring, unable for a moment to recognize what he was seeing.
“Alan!” She sat up, hurriedly grabbing a sheet. Self-consciousness on her face, and shame; they had taught her well what it meant to be human. She was covered up now, but what had been seen couldn’t be unseen; the image of her naked form, perfect in every way, was still there in front of him. Smooth expanses of creamy skin, and Alan felt his mouth go dry. The mind could do a good job controlling the body, but a man celibate for three years could only face so much temptation. Alan swallowed, clasped his hands in front of his groin.
“I was reading my book,” Quorra said, and it hurt to hear the embarrassment in her voice. “And…”
“I know. You wanted to know what it felt like.” She nodded. He knew he should turn around, close the door and give her some privacy, but he was rooted to the spot. “Did it feel good?”
She nodded again, studying the sheet, a stubborn smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Quorra. It’s a natural part of being human. And if you decide to explore your sexuality with someone else, just make sure it’s someone who cares about you, who isn’t going to hurt you. And be safe,” he finished up, feeling stupid, which wasn’t really that surprising. He didn’t have much blood left in his brain.
She was looking at him now, eyes boring into his in a way he’d seen a few times before but had always discounted. Alan felt his face go hot. “I should go,” he said, not moving an inch.
“No,” she said, and there was a plaintive note in her voice he’d never heard before.
“Please. Please don’t go.”
He wanted her. God, how he wanted her. Not because she was beautiful – though she was – but because he had somehow strangely and suddenly fallen in love with this woman. Because of her insatiable curiosity, and her willingness to embrace the world flaws and all; because of her joie de vivre; because for the first time in years, in decades, maybe, Alan felt alive.
He wanted her.
“You don’t want me,” he told her, putting every ounce of persuasiveness into it, that tone he’d always used with Sam, that Sam had always ignored. And in that way at least, Quorra took after Flynn’s child; she stood, the sheet falling away, a Venus revealed, and she walked over to him.
“Yes, I do.” Her arms around his waist, her face tilted up. Alan brushed a stray lock of hair back; her hair had grown longer. Had she really been here for a month? It seemed like she had answered the door yesterday, six months ago, years and years. “Alan.” He didn’t think anyone had ever said his name like that.
“I’m not him,” he said, and whether he meant Tron or Sam, he didn’t know.
“Quorra—” She cut him off, smashing her mouth against his. Maybe she hadn’t read the chapter in her book on kissing, yet. His teeth cut into the inside of his lips, and he could tell from the way her eyes, still open, suddenly went wide that the same had happened to her. She pulled back and clapped a hand over her mouth.
And just like that, whatever reservations and worries he’d had seemed to melt away. Alan laughed a little, cupping her cheek with his palm. “Here,” he murmured, “like this.” He closed his eyes, waited a half-second, then peeked – she had obediently closed her eyes as well. He leaned down, brushed his lips gently against hers. A sigh, and her hands stole up his chest, fingertips on his cheeks. Alan kissed her again, more solidly this time, letting himself put his hands on her back and draw her close.
Teaching Quorra how to kiss, their tongues gently moving against each other. Teaching Quorra how to undo buttons when she was on the other side. Teaching Quorra that the penis was a delicate instrument and there was no reason for her to ever squeeze it like that ever again.
His clothes off, Alan led her back to the bed, and laid her down. Took a few moments to just drink her in, and she wiggled a little under his gaze. “Am I pretty?” she whispered, and he just looked at her until she smiled and pressed her face into the pillow.
He kissed her, starting at her mouth and working his way steadily down. Hunting out every sensitive spot, finding the right combination of pressure and tongue movement for each, figuring out what made her toes curl, made her grab at the hair on the back of his head, made her moan his name, stretching it out into half a dozen syllables. By the time he was kneeling at the foot of the bed, though, Quorra had clamped her legs together tight. When Alan put a hand on one of her knees, her head popped up, and there was fright in her eyes.
“Hey, it's okay. We can stop.”
“I don't want to stop.” But her legs didn't move, the muscles in her thighs taut. Alan ran his hand up and down the back of her calf, trying to sooth her.
“We'll take a break,” he said, crawling back up beside her. She curled into him, trembling a little. He ran his fingers through her hair, the strands as silky as he'd imagined, the very few times he'd let his mind wander that far and no further.
“The book said it would hurt.”
“I'm not going to hurt you.” A nod from her at that, and he held her until her breathing slowed and she was soft and pliant against him again.
She put a hand on his chest, and Alan let her slowly push him onto his back. Now she explored, careful and thorough. She seemed particularly interested in his nipples, playing with fingers and tongue. “Why do you have these?” she asked, nipping at one with her teeth. “Males don't nurse.” Alan gasped, and she grinned up at him, sly. “Because of that?”
“Something to do with...when hormones are released in utero,” he managed. She hummed, his explanation apparently making sense to her, and he thought about telling her she could hum with one of his nipples in her mouth all day long, but she was already back on the move. It was strange, being touched and kissed and licked by someone who was discovering how all of this worked for the first time. She didn't know all the usual haunts, the seemingly-universal moves, so what she did was different; and after sixty years, something different was enough to have him right at the edge long before she ever made it to his groin.
Quorra just looked at his erection, carefully crawling back and forth over his legs to make sure she got a good look from every angle. He could feel her warm breath against him, and he couldn’t help but buck his hips into the air, just a little. “It didn’t look like this in the book,” she said, eyes wide like a kid on Christmas morning, and she drew one fingertip down his length.
“Why didn’t you look on the computer?” he asked. Speech was becoming difficult.
“I wanted to look at you first.” She pressed her tongue, slowly, tentatively, against the head. Then made a face and wiped her tongue off on her palm. “Alan.” A noise, like a mix between a raspberry and a groan. “It doesn’t taste good.”
He laughed, appreciating her honesty, as he did in so many other things. “You don’t have to use your tongue.” Quorra hunkered down and began her examination; fingertips up and down his erection, caressing his balls, sliding along his thighs. Teaching Quorra how to wrap her hand around him, how to stroke up and down, and every time he moaned or said her name, her face lit up with pleasure. Eventually she started using her tongue again – carefully avoiding the head, though, and any fluid there. Alan played his fingers gently through her hair, trying to remember the last time he’d been attended to this way. Then he reached down to her shoulder, pushed her back.
“I know you’re going to want to watch,” he said, and her face became intent, serious. A few more strokes, and then Alan couldn’t help but screw his eyes closed, throw his head back, so he missed seeing her face at his moment of climax. A few heartbeats later, though, he looked down to see her still staring at his face, her breath coming quick, that creamy skin marred by a warm flush over her face and upper chest. Her nipples were hard and dark, and he wanted them in his mouth. When he reached for her, though, she didn’t move, just looked down at his stomach. Drew her finger through the semen there.
"Thousands of copies of your genetic code. They have nowhere to go." Then she did something that simultaneously appalled and aroused him - she ran her finger through his semen, then pushed that finger inside of herself.
She did it again, and though Alan knew there wasn't a chance that what she was doing would succeed, he still felt a sick panic in his chest. "Quorra, you don't want a baby."
"That's the purpose of sexual activity," she said absently, wiping his stomach clean with a corner of the sheet.
"Not the only purpose. Sex feels good. It's a way to share something special with someone you care about. Someone you..." Alan trailed off, but he thought Quorra heard the unspoken word anyway, based on the way she looked at him. She crawled up a little, laid her head down just below his sternum. Peered up at him with that flirty little smile.
"But you don't have a child," she said.
"You should replicate yourself." Alan laughed, stroked her arm.
"I don't plan on cloning myself anytime soon. Human procreation doesn't replicate anyone completely. The offspring is the mixture of two sets of chromosomes."
Her blue eyes sparkled at him then, and Alan realized he'd fallen right into her trap. She wriggled up the rest of the way and kissed him, and Alan knew that at some point they'd have to have a conversation about this, but he wasn't going to have it today. Once he figured out what was going on between them, and what they were going to do after this, then, maybe, he'd sit her down and tell her he was not going to impregnate her, if he even could. But now, now...
Alan rolled her over, and this time when he reached the end of the bed there was only the slightest pause, the barest heartbeat of resistance, and she opened her legs for him. Her skin was so soft, soft and perfect. Month-old skin. He pushed her knees up, carefully spread her open. Then just stared.
"Oh, Quorra. Honey. What happened?" That most sensitive area was red and raw, and when he gently ran a finger along the inside of a fold, she winced, hissed in pain.
"I read an article online about female masturbation. It recommended lubricant, so I got some of Sam's lotion he keeps next to the couch. I should have brought the whole bottle up, but I didn't. At first it was fine, but then the lotion absorbed into the skin, or evaporated. I didn't want to stop, though, because I didn't think I'd reached orgasm yet. So I kept going."
"How long did you just rub yourself dry?"
"I don't know. I took breaks." She gave him that sad face, the one she wore when she misunderstood something. "I did it wrong, didn't I?"
Alan gave her a half-smile, rested his chin on her knee. "Well, you didn't do it right." He didn't quite get a laugh at that, but the sad face was gone. He thought it would be best to just put this on hold for a day or two, but she put a hand on the back of his head and urged him down. He kissed and nipped the inside of her thighs until her hips started rocking against the mattress, and then he worked some spit up in his mouth. Used the flat of his tongue to spread the saliva against her as gently as he could, though she still squirmed a little bit.
Alan was a lot of things. Extremely gifted at the fine art of cunnilingus he was, unfortunately, not. But Quorra had no basis of comparison, and apparently his soft, soft licks against her clit were more than enough. He wanted to do what she did, and sit back and watch her face as the orgasm hit, but he also wanted it to be good. He wanted it to make up for what might have been hours of her stubbornly trying to get off, but only getting frustrated and sore. So he kept at it, pushed his tongue against her a little more insistently, and made do with listening to the symphony of her cries and moans as she came. No breaks for him; he kept licking and licking and whether she came again, or it was just aftershocks, he didn't know. Finally he could hear tears in her breathing, and he pressed one last open-mouthed kiss against her, then finally looked up.
Quorra's face was wet, but she beamed at him as brightly as he'd ever seen. She put her arms out for him, and did her best to tug him right down on top of her. "I don't want to smoosh you," he said, and ignored her growl. He rested on his side next to her, and to placate her, put one leg over hers, pulled her close.
"I want you to smoosh me," she complained, but he just stroked her hair back. A few moments to bask.
"So what did you think?" he asked. He waited for her delighted laugh, the bright bubbles in her voice when she talked to him about something beautiful she'd seen. But he was met with silence, and he worried that it hadn't been what she'd expected. Then she pressed her head against his chest, fingers on his ribs digging in.
"I had a dream last night. You were in the Grid with me, teaching me how to dance by the Sea.” A sigh, something she couldn’t put into words. “I love you, too." A hitch in her voice. Alan felt his eyes sting, and pulled her as tightly to him as he could; he didn't want even a breath between their bodies.
He'd have decisions to make, and no matter which path he chose, Sam would have to be told something. But let the decisions wait, even if only for another ten minutes. Right now, he was going to hold his girl, this pretty woodland nymph, this miracle with the quicksilver smile. He was going to hold her, and listen to her breathe, and feel her heartbeat against his palm. He was going to let himself drowse, let his brain go silent, overwhelmed by this most simple animal comfort.
Alan was a lot of things. Happy, for one.
Next: Waking Up