Disclaimer: Liam Kincaid is from the series Earth: Final Conflict and belongs to various people and groups. Rosemary Schultz is mine. Other characters mentioned either belong to the series or players in my sim group.

Warning: This fic is rated PG-13 to R (unlike my usual fics, which run anywhere from G to PG-13) for adult situations and language. (The characters are dealing with a sexual situation.)

Author's Note: This was actually originally three fics - "Tackling Lust", "Aftertalk", and "Morning Thoughts" - all dealing with my E:FC sim character, Rosemary Schultz. While most of my Rosemary writings are part of a game, these came about because of a storyline going on in that game. (Actually, since the 'post' in question is going in a slightly different direction anyway, this fic is rather in an alternate universe.)

I am pleased to note that it won 3rd place in the "Best Adult story" category in the 1999 Shaquarava awards.

I might warn here (again) that this fic deals with some very adult issues. It came out of a series of somewhat raunchy conversations dealing with the character of Liam, and the consequences of certain actions. Thanks to Jen LeMaire for putting up with me, and for explaining the consequences of what happens when one goes too far....

Tackling Lust
by Estirose
Copyright 1999

She'd been avoiding the Embassy, but she figured she'd eventually have to go there.

Rosemary Schultz shivered as she stepped into the Taelon Embassy, but not because of its odd walls. After all, she'd been in the place a lot while Companion Security had been trying to find out what little she knew about those who had kidnapped her. And she should see more of Wally. After all, he was a nice guy.

Too bad she couldn't concentrate on him. Too bad all she could think of was Liam Kincaid, protector to the North American Companion.

Of course, that's why she was in the Embassy today, to see Liam Kincaid and work this whole bloody thing out. Ever since that evening at the beach, her pulse quickened, among other things, at the thought of the man. She was due for CVI implantation soon, and despite her general attitude about premarital sex, it seemed that she and Liam had been stopped far too late to keep her body from wanting more.

Rosemary tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. She'd left a message with Liam to meet her, and he hadn't messaged anything about not being able to come, but she was still nervous about him not coming. She could feel his fingers on his skin, the touch of his flesh. How much worse would it get after she had a CVI? Even if she'd be able to control her memories and her body, she didn't really want to be still so... attracted to him.

As she was aimlessly manipulating her fingers, he arrived. She looked up at him. Certainly, he wasn't bad looking, but she hadn't been interested in him *that* way until he had tried to comfort her. Stress brought on interesting things... she just wished her stress relief that evening had not brought her to the point where she wanted to drag the guy into her bed.

She wondered if he was feeling the same way she did, consumed by a desire that wouldn't subside. He didn't look it, but she guessed that he was somewhat emulating the other Companion Protectors, those who had CVIs and could toss off desires like this. "Hello," she said, tenatively. "Thanks for showing up. Shall we talk outside?"

Liam nodded, and they went out to the Embassy's gardens. Once they were outside, Rosemary discovered that she didn't know where to start. Inviting a man into her bed wasn't something she did every day. Fortunately, Liam seemed able to speak. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"Er, um," she said, while her companion waited patiently. Fortunately, it was a nice day outside. "Er... Island. Last week. Uh... I got a problem."

She looked over at him and and he suddenly looked worried. Taking a deep breath, she contined. "I'm not pregnant or anything - it's just that we went a bit too far that night. Surely you've felt it too?"

Rosemary closed her mouth, hoping that she didn't sound like she'd just blurted the words.

"Yeah. I have," Liam answered. He looked uncomfortable.

"Then, do you mind, um, joining me? Taking care of the matter?"

Liam looked shocked. Rosemary wondered if he had a religious prohibition about it. "You're still having problems with it?"

"You aren't?" Rosemary asked. She found it hard to believe that he wasn't feeling the same way that she was.

"No, and I thought it had gone away, like mine had."

Rosemary shook her head. "It's not been going away, it's been getting worse. I'm standing here and I have a desire to jump your bones right in the middle of this garden."

Liam was starting to look very worried. In fact, he looked ready to make a hasty retreat back to the Embassy. "Uh...."

"Liam, I need to get this over with. It's distracting me, and I can't afford distractions. Once I get the rest of my CVI it'll be less of a distraction, but right now it's driving me *nuts*."

"I don't think you really want to sleep with me," he said, after a minute's pause.

"Oh, and you know me that well?" Rosemary hissed. "Liam, you don't get it. I need you. Unless there's some reason why you're being so noble...."

Rosemary ran a hand along his shirt, feeling her way around until she encountered his bare flesh. She fell his intake of breath. Maybe he wasn't as unaroused as he seemed.

Liam tensed, and Rosemary grinned inwardly. Maybe she'd still get him. "No," he said, gently taking her wrist and removing her hand from his chest. "This isn't the way to go."

She felt his palm slide against hers. After a moment he said, "I'm not ready to become a father. I don't think you want to become a mother, either, but you're not thinking about that."

Rosemary blinked. "I'm on birth control, and we can certainly get condoms to cut down on the risk of disease and pregnancy. You won't regret this, Liam...."

"I'm afraid even with the birth control and anything else we tried you'd get pregnant. My family's extremely fertile."

Rosemary sighed. "You aren't going to cooperate, are you?" she asked.

Liam shook his head. "I'm tempted... but I can't. You'll have to find a way without me. I know you can."

She sighed again, recognizing the pep talk for what it was. She wasn't going to get what she wanted. Time to go back to the medical center, and avoid this place until she could control herself. "I'm sorry, Liam. Thank you."

"You're welcome," he said. "I'll see you soon."

* * *

A couple of days later

Rosemary tapped her foot for the millionth time as she waited for her date. She checked her purse. Cash card, check, makeup, check, random stuff, check... condom, check. She hoped she'd be using the condom tonight. All she had to do is persuade a man who'd turned her down once to come to bed with her. Really simple.

She couldn't believe she was this desperate. Sure, she enjoyed being around coworkers and friends, but most of the time she wasn't madly in, well, lust. She still hadn't a clue why she was so obsessed with him - they hadn't gotten that far, really, when James Christian had interrupted them. But her body still told her that it was waiting to complete what had been started, with or without her.

Then he arrived, and she breathed involuntarily at the sight of him. He wasn't bad looking, of course. The tux looked especially good, although she couldn't wait to see him again largely without clothing. "Hello, Liam," she said, smiling up at him and hoping that what was on her mind didn't show on her face. "Ready to go?"

* * *

Liam seemed fascinated by his food. Rosemary had chosen their restaurant with great care, asking coworkers for recommendations on restaurants with a cozy, busy atmosphere and great food. The great food was because she wanted her date to be happy. The cozy was to make him feel comfortable. And the busy... well, the busy was so that what she wanted to talk about wouldn't echo around the room. The whole issue was rather embarrassing.

"Good?" she asked lightly. Her date looked up at her, mouth full of food, and nodded.

He swallowed what he was eating and spoke. "It's great. I've never had this good Italian."

"Great," she smiled. "I'm stuffed."

"I soon will be," he said, smiling at her.

"So, want to come over to my place for a while?" she said teasingly. Inside, she was nervous. He could refuse her easily enough, and she didn't want to get all ready and find that he didn't want to go through with it.

"I don't think that's a good idea," he said, frowning. "There's a too good chance we'd end up in bed, and trust me, you don't really want it. I have no experience...."

"You're a virgin?" Rosemary asked, somehow surprised to find that out.

He reached out to take her hand. "Yeah. Find someone else, Rosemary. Someone who would be able to give you a good time. I'm not it."

"You're sure? It really doesn't matter to me..."

"I'm sure," he replied. Rosemary slumped.

* * *

A few days later

Rosemary leaned against the counter in her kitchen, taking a rest from her last-minute preperations. Liam would be there at any moment, and she didn't need to be flushed, not right now. Flushed reminded her too much of other... things. This time, she was going to apologize to him, and then they were going to forget the whole thing. She hoped.

She was actually surprised that Liam had accepted her dinner invitation, a nice little private home-cooked meal at her place. If it was her on the other end, she would have had deep reservations about going. Of course, she'd be wary anyway. A sexually excited woman was one thing. A sexually excited man was another.

Her phone beeped, and she answered it to find Liam waiting to go up. She took a deep breath and signaled the door to let him through. Smoothing her dress, she did the last few things she needed before she was absolutely ready for her guest.

* * *

Rosemary and Liam sat on her couch. The food had been eaten, the evening had been relaxing, and now the two of them had retired to a more casual setting. Liam seemed to enjoy her cooking. Not bad, she thought, for someone who had flunked home economics.

And, best of all, he had forgiven her for the restaurant. That was good. With less than a week before implantation to go, she really needed to be free of her guilt trip. Wasn't exactly his fault that she'd gotten in this situation. He hadn't done much in the way of response the first time out. Still, she was curious about why he hadn't been interested.

"Liam?"

"Hm?"

"Why won't you sleep with me? I mean, I realize you won't, and I understand that, but-"

"I told you before," her date replied, looking rather uncomfortable.

"Am I unappealing?" Rosemary asked, taking a deep breath. She had no idea what brought the words out, and wished she could take them back. She'd brought him here to reconcile, not cause more pain.

"No, but-"

Rosemary sniffled. "Then, why?"

Liam just sat there. Finally answered. "I don't want you to get hurt, and you would."

"*That's* your reason?" Rosemary answered hysterically. "I'm already getting hurt. I can't continue like this, Liam. I can't!"

She found herself crying, and then felt his warm body against hers. His finger ran along her cheek, and suddenly she was excited again. She leaned into him, savoring the feel of his body beside hers. But it wasn't enough, and she found herself running a finger along his body in return. Looking up, she could see him looking confused, just a minute before he responded to her.

* * *

Later that evening

"Liam?" Rosemary said, poking her partner. What they'd been doing was... well, Rosemary couldn't find words to describe it, or what had happened. "Liam, wake up."

"Hmm? Oh, good, you're still here," Liam replied, sounding relieved.

"Why wouldn't I be, silly?" Rosemary joked. Then she touched Liam gently, caressing his shoulder. "I know you were worried that you'd killed me, but I'm fine. Your reproduction has apparently fallen close enough to human norm to not worry about that."

"You know what I am now," Liam said. It wasn't a question, Rosemary was pleased to note. She felt like she knew everything about him - why shouldn't he have come to known everything about her? It was like they had become one merged being for a few moments, sharing feelings and thoughts like they were two parts of the same brain.

"Yes," she answered anyway, just to confirm it out loud. "And why I was attracted to you. I wondered why that happened, since we didn't really get that far the first time on the island."

"Now you know," Liam responded. He reached down and put a hand on her stomach. He seemed to be contemplating it, and Rosemary realized she knew why.

"You weren't kidding about your family being fertile," she said dreamily. She sat up, suddenly awake. "What do we do now?"

"I don't know," Liam responded.

"At the very least, I don't think Jonathan Doors is going to be overly happy that I now know the identity of a lot of his deep-cover people."

"Oh, don't worry about Doors. I can handle him," Liam said, sounding confident. "I'll keep you safe."

Rosemary placed her hand over Liam's where it continued to rest on her stomach. "I never really thought about being a mother."

"You'll do fine," Liam said, smiling over at her.

"I probably should be more alarmed than I am," Rosemary said, thoughtfully. "After all, I'm sleeping with a guy who is one-third a species the Taelons don't care much for, I'm pregnant with his child, who knows what may be different about the pregnancy... I think I still must be reeling from what happened..."

"It's a lot to take in, I know, but you'll get used to it," Liam said.

"And a lot of time to remember it... oh, sheesh, I gotta see if there was any research done on implanting pregnant humans..."

As she moved to get up from the bed, Liam caught her around the waist and brought her back to lying down. "That can wait for a while. Right now, I think you should rest. Even if I don't have my father's problems, I'm still worried."

"Yes, mom," Rosemary cracked, but stayed down. Liam cracked an uneven smile. "I'll stay down. Meanwhile, we have some things to think about. I'll have to go into implantation pretending I don't know about this... it's too soon to explain why I know despite not missing my period yet. At least I can explain the pregnancy... I forgot to take my pills..."

Liam ran his fingers through her hair as she talked. She looked over at him. "Liam, this may be a silly question, but do you want to become a father?"

"I was hoping that I wouldn't," he replied. "But now that it's happened, I do."

"Want to make sure the Kimera don't die out if you get killed or something, eh?" Rosemary teased.

"Something like that," Liam responded. "But it's also my responsibility - you shouldn't have gotten stimulated at all."

"Thanks, Liam."

"Thank me later," he replied.

* * *

Less than a week later

Rosemary leaned against the bridge railing, staring at the water before her. The fog was thick - it obscured half the world around her, giving her the illusion of solitude, at least for the moment. Sure, there were those who jogged at this point in the morning, but none were visible at the moment in the greyness.

It was almost terrifying that she'd have to give this up soon and go to work. She rubbed the sore spot under her jaw, remembering how the probe touched that spot and pressed inwards. She hadn't been able to see the screen, but she knew from her experience on the other side of the operation that the probe was working its way around her brain, delivering the remaining portions of the CVI, including Ra'el's alterations.

-She was energy, without real shape. She was rushing towards another energy-shape, unable to draw away but also not desiring to draw away. She plunged into it, unable to resist the pleasure of combining with another being, becoming one, becoming *whole*. She knew this one as if she had been him.

And another thing was happening... where the two touched, their energies blended and coalesced, forming another spark, an independent entity that was both of them and yet not...-

"Morning," someone said beside her, and she blinked. She turned towards the speaker.

"Morning, Liam. What are you doing out this early?"

"I decided to walk to work today," Liam said. "Sometimes you just need to do things like that."

"I know," Rosemary replied, blushing a little as she noticed her hand on her stomach again. "I felt like some peace and quiet this morning. Not like I'm not going to spend the entire day doing admin work until someone teaches me how to control memory intrusions...."

Liam nodded. "How are you this morning?"

She shrugged. "Pretty good, for someone who just got implanted. Well, I got implanted yesterday, but it doesn't seem like that long, really. You have some pretty interesting memories, you know that?"

He grinned. "They're not all mine, either."

"I know," Rosemary said. "But they're still pretty interesting."

"I'm going to talk to Da'an today."

"Do you have to?" Rosemary asked, sighing. "I'm less than a week pregnant. I'm not even supposed to know I'm pregnant. At this rate, everybody will know about it before I can be officially tested for pregnancy...."

"We're going to need his help eventually. He'll protect you and the child, just like he's prevented the Synod from discovering my existance."

Rosemary sighed again. "Even with your trust, and your memories, I'm finding it hard to trust him."

"Zo'or is the one who was in charge of the Portal Project, not Da'an," Liam argued. "Da'an has steadily argued about such things. In fact, if he knew the circumstances, he'd do it just because he feels guilt for what the Taelons have done to humanity."

"If you say so," Rosemary replied, leaning over the bridge again. "Things have been changing so much over the last few weeks, I find it hard to believe that I'm in the situation I'm in now. I've gone from worrying about equipment thefts to worrying about what the Taelon Synod would do to me if they found out what I was carrying."

Liam's hand carressed her shoulder. "I think you have less to worry about than you think."

One of her hands found his, the other once again over her stomach. She felt his other hand join hers there. "I hope so, Liam. Because there's still a long way to go."

He said nothing more, but continued to hold her, and she let him. She'd never forget his touch, not anymore, but something about his physical presence comforted her. He was right. Even if the road ahead was long, she had company.

-end

Earth: Final Conflict fanfics