A/N: Hello, all. I would be more excited about posting this, except that I posted it about a week ago on fanfiction.net... oops. And I have GI flu, which would put a damper on any excitement. But that's not the point. It's still a new chapter!This first part here may be a little… mature for some of you. A few others, though, have been requesting some Dalek moments (And I AM a fangirl myself) so this happened. I have conveniently placed a (***) where it's safe to start if you prefer to pass over said fangirl-Dalek moment. But, really, it's not THAT bad. Just some intense kissing. But whatever.Enjoy
Kissing Deryn was certainly one of his favorite pastimes.
Admittedly, he hadn't always thought of kissing as something that would be enjoyable—in fact, he'd once thought of the whole idea as faintly repulsive.
This, on the other hand, was quite preferable. She moved with him, her lips pressed on his with an urgent pressure. His arm was healed well enough now that he didn't have to worry about pain as he let his hands wander around her waist, feeling the slim curve of her back as she arched to fit so perfectly against his body.
His knuckles scraped against the wall, her skin hot against his even through the fabric of her shirt. She didn't have that barrier, though, as Alek's shirt was already unbuttoned. Her fingers traced patterns over his bare stomach roughly, making him moan into her mouth, and he felt her smile.
He took hold of her arms and put them over his shoulder so he could press closer to her. Now the only thing that separated them was her shirt, and with the sudden urge to rid them of even that, he reached for the buttons.
No. He couldn't. God's wounds, but he wanted to. So Alek said the only thing he could think of to make
"Count Volger would so disapprove of this."
Deryn stopped cold. She pushed him off of her, resentfulness painted on her face. "Why would you say that?" she asked bitterly, her breath coming in ragged gasps.
He studied her before answering, taking in her flushed lips and cheeks, disheveled blond hair, and bright, wide blue eyes, all the while cursing himself as a Dummkopf. All that came out was a grunt.
She sighed and ran a hand through her hair, straightening it out somewhat. "That's barking brilliant. Now I can't even look at you without thinking of the count," she growled, fixing her shirt and trousers.
Laughing sourly, Alek mumbled, "That was the point," under his breath.
Deryn's jaw dropped open. "Why?"
Alek just shrugged, lost for words. He wasn't entirely sure why himself, really.
"Oh, that's right," she said, shaking her head, "You're still a sodding proper Clanker, aren't you?" As Alek wondered if he should take offense to that, Deryn continued. "But that's not your fault, I suppose. S—"
She was cut off by the sound of the Klaxon calling the crew to battle stations.
"Blisters," Deryn swore softly, looking around the room while Alek hurriedly buttoned his shirt, "You think they'd want us at the bridge with the lady boffin?"
Now that Deryn was no longer a midshipman, she no longer had a battle station, so Alek just shrugged. "I haven't the faintest idea, Deryn. Though we could sneak topside and see what's going on…" he raised a challenging eyebrow at her, and a mischievous grin tugged at the corners of her mouth.
"I must be getting through to you," she said, already clipping a safety harness she'd snagged from a supply closet on and climbing out the window to the ratlines, "Aleksander Hohenberg wants to go topside to get a
firsthand piece of the action? Never thought I'd see the day!"
She chuckled madly, which reminded him oddly of Bovril, who'd been napping on Alek's cot. It blinked at him a few times, imitating the sounds that came from all sides of the ship, and he slung it over his shoulder, figuring the beastie could come in handy soon.
He shook his head, slipping on the other harness, and swung out onto the ratlines. Indeed, she must be getting to him if he was willing to do this. God's wounds, he was even excited. The blood pounded into his muscles, making him feel ready for anything. It only helped that Deryn was there next to him, climbing with the ease and confidence of any airman. Together, they could do anything.
When they reached the top of the ship, a strange scene was laid out before them. Most of the airmen seemed fine, if a little confused, but their hydrogen sniffers were agitated, pawing at their ears or itching them along the membrane like there were some terrible noise that hurt them. The few message lizards that littered the spine were writhing on the ground, squawking or crying gibberish.
Nearly two hundred meters ahead of them at the head of the Leviathan, the turtles Alek had seen in the cargo bay—Roth Aerial Battle Turtles, if he remembered right—were waiting patiently in a line as some sort of struggle played out in front of their noses. He broke into a run toward the scuffle, Deryn on his heels.
Max and someone else were exchanging blows, and from what Alek could tell, Max had taken some nasty hits to the face, several spots purpling as he fought.
The rigger's eyes lit on the pair running toward them, grateful for some assistance, and in his momentary lapse of concentration his opponent knocked him on the forehead with the hilt of a rigging knife. His knees buckled and he fell to the ground just as Alek came within fifty meters.
The attacker kicked the unconscious man out of his way and swiftly began unfastening the ties that held one of the battle turtles to the ground. Alek put on a burst of speed, his feet sinking slightly into the membrane with each stride. Twenty meters now. "Stop!" he called, and the figure jolted away from his work and stood, facing Alek and revealing his identity.
The boy smirked as his hand snaked into the pocket on his jacket, whipping out to reveal a glistening air pistol pointed straight at Alek.
Deryn drew to a halt just behind him, and drew in a sharp breath when she saw the gun.
"Fitzroy." The word came out of his mouth like an accusation.
"Hello, Aleksandar. Dylan." He nodded his head politely, taking a step back.
Deryn came level with Alek. "What are you doing, Fitzroy?"
He laughed, cruel and ironic. "Why, being the hero, of course." Another step.
"What do you mean?" she demanded, reaching slowly for her rigging knife. Alek stood frozen as he stared down the barrel of the gun.
He took one last step, placing a foot on the back of a turtle. It sunk just slightly under his weight, but not enough to matter. Fitzroy was going to get away and-
Alek's boots hit the membrane softly as he took several steps toward Sebastian. The boy's eyes widened and he leveled the pistol at Alek's chest. "Don't move."
"How will you 'be the hero', as you say?" Alek tried to sound like he wasn't scared silly by the firearm.
"Sorry, boys, but I can't stay and chat," he said, looking over their shoulders at something behind them. He met Alek's eyes coldly for a moment, and then let loose the last of the ropes that anchored the turtle to the airship. Without thinking, Alek leapt forward to catch hold of the ascending beast.
The pain exploded in his torso almost before he'd registered the sound of the shot.
Staggering back, Alek tripped on a ratline and tumbled backward. Deryn caught him before he hit the ground. She let him down gently once it became clear he couldn't hold himself up. His vision was already becoming hazy with the pain, and a moan escaped from him.
He could barely make out Deryn, leaning over him, and thought he felt extra pressure on his wound-but he couldn't really tell. His senses were being overloaded from the pain.
"Stupid barking Clanker!" she was yelling. "Alek! Don't you dare pass out on me!"
Despite himself, Alek smiled tiredly. "Relax," he choked out, "It isn't anything that hasn't happened before."
He laughed noiselessly at his own wit and terribly ironic luck as his vision darkened.