Heat of the Moment

By Koren M.
Copyright 1999

Author's Note: Many, many, many thanks to Sharon and Becca, my wonderful beta readers! you guys are great!

I can't believe it happened.

I mean, ok, we thought we were gonna die, but I can't believe that she did that. Not that I'm complaining...she's amazing...but then again, maybe I am complaining. I haven't said a word to her since we got back. Hell, I haven't even *seen* her since we got back. She's damn good at avoiding things. And me.

She's damn good at several things...

I hear footsteps behind me, and I know they're hers. You never hear Zhaan come into a room, and D'Argo's a lot louder. She doesn't say anything, just starts working at the other terminal. Maybe if I blow it off, chalk it up to the situation, she'll stop freezing me out.

"Heat of the moment."

I try hard not to look at her. I don't think I can pull this off if I look at her.

"Exactly. Too much pure oxygen."

I can't decide wether to be disappointed or relieved that she's playing along. A little of both I guess... although if I'm honest with myself the disappointment's stronger.

"Affected our judgement." I look back down before she sees me. "I-if it had been you and D'Argo there, same thing probably would have happened."

"Or you and Zhaan."

What? No way in...ok, I was asking for that one with that D'Argo comment. When I sneak a glance at her she's still fiddling with the readouts. This is getting *really* uncomfortable.

"Anyway, one thing's for sure. It'll never...*never* happen again."

Not that I don't want it too...

"Hm. Never?"

"Never." That sounded sure enough.


Whoa, that was *not* relief in her voice. I glance over fast enough to catch the expression on her face...it almost looks like regret. Not that we did something, but what I just said... oh screw it. We're adults. This is getting us nowhere fast.

Crap. Now if I can just figure out a way to undo what I've just done...

"One thing." I walk over to her, invading her space, making her nervous. Dangerous, I know, but I'm willing to risk it. She just kinda freezes, waiting to see what I'm gonna say.

"Just to be... *absolutely* certain... You *are* the female of your species, right?" Slowly she turns around, her face blank. She'd make a damn good poker player. She just lets the tension wind itself tighter... and tighter...

And then she grabs my hand. Faster than I can react she's pulling me toward her and putting my hand on her...oh yeah, definitely female... relief and something more rush through me and when my eyes lock on hers, I can't help smiling. "I'll take that as a yes."

I know I must look like a kid at Christmas who's just realized that Santa really *did* get him that new 10-speed...but I can't help it. All I can do is turn around and walk away before I try kissing her again.

But I have to look at her one more time.

And she's looking back at me.

I killed him.

I *kissed* him.

Maybe I should have kissed him and *then* killed him.

Or just killed him.

Then I wouldn't have to worry about trying to avoid him.

I still can't believe that happened. What the frell was I thinking!?

Well, I know *what* I was thinking, and from his response, he was thinking about it to. But maybe that's just the way human males react.

And that's another thing. He's not even Sebacean! Frax it! It must have been all that oxygen ... and the stress. Things like that happen in the heat of battle.

Except I've been in battles before.... when I was certain I was going to be killed... and I never grabbed the nearest guy and...

And he knows it. He said himself that I'd gone against what I'd been taught.

He has *no* idea just how much.

I step into command before I see him, and it's too late to walk back out. Instead, I move to the opposite panel and attempt to work. There are things I want to say... and I just can't. He doesn't even look up, just keeps working at the controls as if nothing had happened. He didn't even give me that stupid "Hey". Well, I guess that just shows how-

"Heat of the moment."

I glance over... surprised that he said anything, surprised that he said *that*. So. I guess he's trying to tell me it was just the situation. Fine. If that's the way he wants it...

"Exactly. Too much pure oxygen."

"Affected our judgement. I-if it had been you and D'Argo there, same thing probably would have happened."

D'Argo? What the hex .... Oh. I see. He's making the point that it had nothing to do with me, it was just the situation. All right.

"Or you and Zhaan." That got him.

"Anyway, one thing's for sure. It'll never...*never* happen again."

I start to look up at him, then stop. I'm not sure I can do this if I'm looking at him.

"Hm. Never?"


"Never..." Now why does that hurt? It's what I wanted. Or at least, what I *thought* I wanted ... but now I'm not so sure. I sneak a glance at him and suddenly realize that it's not what *did* happen that I regret... it's what *didn't* happened ...after what did.

"One thing." I tense when he starts over to me. "Just to be... *absolutely* certain..." What the frell is he going to say? And does he have to stand so close? "You *are* the female of your species, right?"

He didn't. He did *not* just ask that. Then I realize what he's trying to do. Well, if he wants to play... I turn slowly toward him, careful to keep my expression neutral. It wouldn't do for him to catch on, now would it?

I grab his hand and pull it toward me. His eyes lock on mine, and there's a moment when I could swear he's asking me if I'm sure. Whatever he sees in my eyes must be the right thing, because he smiles.

"I'll take that as a yes." I release him and he moves away, heading for the door. I can't follow him because I don't trust myself... but I can't resist one last look back at him.

And I catch him looking back at me.