Also Human

by Midori Momo (緑桃)

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/108456.html)

Dr. Theodore Talbot was exhausted. He rubbed at his aching right temple, fingers coming in contact with the bandage covering the five stitches it took to close the gash in his forehead. The way all of his pains were blurring together, he had almost forgotten it was there.

There had been an explosion. Not in his lab, but in the one adjacent to his. Nevertheless, it had destroyed his lab by blowing through the wall and burying all the sensitive equipment under rubble and debris. The irony was that it had been complete chance that Theo was there at the time. After sending all of the assistants home, he had decided there was paperwork he wanted to put some finishing touches on. The next thing he knew there were MPs digging him out from under what used to be his desk.

His lacerations had been dealt with swiftly by the doctor at the base infirmary, before he had been hustled off for a debriefing that felt much more like an interrogation. He had been asked the same questions multiple times by three different people. Five hours after the incident, he still sat in a sterile little room with a steel table bolted to the floor and a two-way mirror on one wall.

He didn’t have a clue as to what the lab next to his own had been doing to cause such a disaster, but what he did know was that it was the end of his project and probably his career. After the explosion his specimen had gone missing. A chunk of wall breached the containment unit, and in the chaos it had somehow gotten out of the building and possibly off the base. Theo had to assure his interrogators repeatedly that he honestly had no idea where it could have gone. It had lived in the lab for its entire life; it didn’t know anywhere else. The specimen was either holed up somewhere, scared half to death, or it had been seriously injured and had crawled off to die. This last thought caused Theo’s chest to constrict. It was unpleasant, thinking that the specimen could possibly have come to such an end.

When they finally released him to go home, it was nearly four in the morning. He was almost afraid of being detained at the gate, but the guard on duty let him through without a second glance. Theo’s eyes were scratchy, and his level of exhaustion was one that he had never experienced before, and hoped never to experience again. Luckily he didn’t have far to go to get home.

Before he left Theo was given the ol’ “don’t call us, we’ll call you” by the higher ups. No specimen meant no research, and a forty-year-old project went down the tubes just like that. Theo had only been the head researcher for the project for the last three years. Dr. Clark, the previous doctor in charge, had been with the project from the beginning. He had been the one to go through all of the initial research, as well as the failed specimen development, before finally achieving a viable one twenty-three years before. Now, suddenly, the whole thing was just gone.

The military had been looking for a reason to shut the project down for a while, though. Its progression had been much too slow, and the results were not adequate for the military’s needs. Theo felt the only reason his project was allowed to chug along was because the specimen was still alive and producing some useful, if limited, information.

Before he knew it, he was pulling into the driveway of his house, a small rancher complete with a white picket fence. The yard was in need of mowing and the flowerbeds were overgrown. The fence could also have used some sprucing up with a new coat of paint. Theo figured that now, with no job to keep him busy, he might finally get around to fixing the place up a bit. Not that he was very handy at those kinds of things, but it didn’t matter. He fumbled for his keys and let himself into the house. He needed sleep. At least they had fed him sandwiches so he didn’t have to bother with trying to make food.

He almost stumbled on the hallway rug as he dragged himself to his bedroom. Once inside he started dropping clothing to the floor on his way to the bathroom. He could forgo eating at the moment, but other things just could not be put off until later.

Groping around in the dark, he flipped on the switch. Starkly illuminated in the mirror above the sink he saw the dark circles under his eyes and the bruise that disappeared beneath the carefully taped bandage on his forehead. He sighed and turned away to use the toilet. Theo had never really been vain, but he hoped the gash didn’t scar too badly.

Leaving the bathroom light on, he shuffled back into the bedroom. He sensed that something was off. He stood in the middle of the floor, blinking blearily in the dim light from the bathroom, giving his overtired brain a few moments to catch up. Then he realized what it was. His eyes flew wide and he backed hastily into the bathroom door jamb. Curled in the center of his bed in a nest of his comforter was his specimen. And it was watching him.

Theo’s knees gave away and he began a slow slide down the wall. The specimen lurched off the bed toward him, and the only thought that came to Theo before he lost consciousness was to wonder why it was naked.

There was late afternoon sunlight slanting through the blinds when Theo woke. He lay completely motionless for a few moments before the growling of his stomach forced him up. He groaned at the action of leaving the bed; his whole body ached, and the slight throb of his head renewed itself as soon as he was vertical.

Half awake, he started toward the kitchen, only to be brought up short by what he saw there. Standing in front of the stove, naked to the waist and swinging his hips back and forth to the music on the radio was the specimen, better known around the lab as Adam. An ironic name for the first and only living specimen of the Super Soldier Program.

Of of twenty embryos implanted over the course of almost as many years, in an attempt to create a viable super soldier specimen, Adam was the only survivor. He was now twenty-three years old and had never truly exhibited the characteristics the military had wanted. He was tall and lean, without the muscle bulk desired for a human tank, and despite all of the intense training he had gone through, Adam never did become a state-of-the art killing machine. Rather than crawling around in the mud with a rifle in his hand, his interests leaned more toward reading, learning, and watching TV. Not that he couldn’t do those things; he could – and had – he just didn’t much like to. Adam wasn’t what the military wanted in a super soldier, but Theo felt that he was probably what Dr. Clark had wanted in a son.

When Theo had taken over the project after Clark’s sudden death, the military had set him strict rules on how he was supposed to interact with Adam. Rules that he highly doubted Clark had followed, if Adam’s behavior was any testament. It was hard to treat him as a specimen and not a human being, as per Theo’s very specific orders, considering Adam’s friendliness and interest in interaction.

The song on the radio changed to an advertisement, and Adam flipped the egg he had in the pan onto a plate that already held toast smothered in strawberry jam. He spun around, dancing to his own music and slid the plate onto the table, where another one already lay.

“Good morning, Doc,” Adam said, greeting Theo with a huge smile on his face. There was a small cut on his cheek and a rather large bruise on his bicep, but Adam otherwise looked unscathed from the explosion. This was probably due to his quick healing abilities. It was still a relief to Theo to see that he was not seriously hurt.

“How… how did you get here?” Theo was hardly able to get the words past his disbelief.

“I don’t really remember,” Adam said, opening and closing drawers until he came up victorious with a pair of forks. “I was thrown out of bed and it was like everything had gone crazy.” He sat down at the table and started cutting his egg into small pieces. “It reminded me a bit of the war zone simulations. I guess the training from the deep learning kicked in because I don’t remember much after that. The next thing I remember, I was standing in a backyard. I knew it was your house because the whole place smells like you. I guess that’s how I found it, tracked it by your scent, but I don’t really know. I, uh, jimmied the back door open and let myself in and wound up falling asleep while waiting for you.”

Theo slumped down into the chair opposite Adam and stared blankly at the plate of food. Adam almost shyly nudged the second fork across the table so that it was within Theo’s reach. Theo picked it up and looked at it as if he had never seen a fork before. Adam silently continued to shovel egg and toast into his mouth.

“I don’t know what to do,” Theo said quietly, toying with the fork. It was surreal to have his specimen sitting and eating at his breakfast table. He glanced up at the younger man before returning his attention to the fork. “I mean, I’m glad you’re okay, but I just do not know what to do.”

“You could eat before the food gets cold,” Adam tried, giving Theo a half-smile.

“I didn’t even know you could cook,” Theo mumbled as he ate a few bites without really tasting anything.

“Dr. Clark taught me how to do some stuff with a hot plate. And you know how I like watching the food channel.”

Theo put his left elbow on the table and fisted his hand in his hair. He started halfheartedly pushing the last few bits of egg around on his plate.

Adam finished the last bite of his toast and got up to wash his plate. “Well, I guess you can just take me back to the base. I’m sorry if you’ll get in trouble because of me, but I’ll make sure to let them know it wasn’t your fault that I left.”

Theo laid the fork down carefully on the table and shook his head. “I can’t take you back, Adam. The lab has been destroyed and the project shut down. There isn’t anywhere to go back to. For either of us.”

Adam turned around and leaned back against the sink. The look on his face showed that he was a bit confused. “I don’t understand. How could they shut down the project?”

“The military thinks you are dead or… something. They’ve been wanting to shut us down since before Dr. Clark died and now they have a reason. I doubt they care if you are actually alive or not as long as the project is gone and they no longer have to pour money into it.”

“Oh,” was all Adam said as he slumped back down into his chair.

Theo laid his head down on the table and folded his arms over it. His head ached and he could not make his thoughts line up the way he wanted them to.

“Maybe you should go back to bed and lie down for a while, Doc. You did get blown up a bit yesterday and you’re looking a bit pale. Come on,” Adam said as he got up and came around the table. He placed one hand under Theo’s arm and gently rested the other on his back. Theo flinched slightly, not used to being touched in such a familiar way, but Adam pretended not to notice. “I’ll help you.” Adam lifted with the hand under Theo’s arm and steadied him with the one on his back, guiding him back to bed.

Theo let Adam help him to the bedroom while his thoughts tumbled over and over each other. If he did decide to take Adam back to the base, he feared what the military might do to a now useless specimen. Adam was human; a genetically improved human guinea pig, but still a human. Unfortunately, the military likely did not see him that way. He was just a tool to be used, and with the project now closed and the specimen no longer needed, he would be discarded however they saw fit.

Theo’s chest tightened, just like it had when he wondered if Adam had gone off somewhere to die after the explosion. For Adam’s safety, he could not be returned to military custody.

Getting into bed, Theo propped himself up against the headboard while Adam went about straightening the sheets and blankets. Theo watched him from behind drooping eyelids. Adam looked like a normal young man. It was hard to believe that he had been genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier. Especially when he came around the bed to tuck the sheets in around Theo.

“I guess you could stay here,” Theo said, his partially open eyes still watching Adam. “At least until we figure out something else to do. If we figure out something else to do.”

“Really? Are you sure?” Adam sounded excited. “If you really don’t want me to I could find somewhere else…”

“I’m sure,” Theo cut him off. “You aren’t all that familiar with the outside world and it wouldn’t do to have you get arrested for doing something you don’t understand.”

Adam lowered his eyes and twisted his hands in the sheets. “I know about the outside world. I watch TV and use the Internet. I’m not stupid.”

“I know you’re not stupid.” Theo yawned and slid all the way down into the bed, patting Adam’s hand as he did so. “But I would rather be safe than sorry. It’s for the best that you stay here.” His eyes were heavy, and they closed of their own accord. By the time Adam finished with the sheets Theo was already asleep.

Adam brushed back Theo’s messy fringe of bangs, carefully avoiding the bruise and bandage, before laying a gentle kiss on his brow. “Thank you, Theo,” he whispered, receiving only a sleepy mumble in reply.

Theo woke up warm and comfortable, and the pounding in his head seemed to be gone. He tried to roll over, only to come up short. Glancing over his shoulder, he discovered that the reason he could not move was because Adam was snuggled up asleep against his back.

Theo found it to be unexpectedly pleasant. He had never really done such a thing before. He never had time for much in the way of relationships, due first to school and then to work. The closest he ever came to having a regular partner was a fling with one of the lab techs at his first job. That ended when she left for a better position elsewhere, leaving behind only a post-it note to say she was leaving. Physical contact of any kind was a very rare thing in Theo’s life. The human body contact was comforting in a way Theo did not realize he severely craved. Adam was very much like a large child and probably needed that contact as well, for comfort in his suddenly unstable atmosphere.

Theo’s reverie was interrupted by the ringing of the telephone. He carefully extracted himself from under Adam’s arm, which was draped over Theo’s midsection, without waking him, and padded out to the phone in the kitchen.

“Hello?” said Theo once he finally got to the phone.

“Dr. Theodore Talbot?” The voice on the other end was deep and gruff.

“Speaking.”

“Hello, sir. I am calling on behalf of General Johnson. I am to inform you that your project has been officially terminated. Starting today you are to be placed in early retirement until the time that your services might again be needed.”

“What will happen to all of my research?”

“I am not certain, sir, but it will most likely go into storage. Enjoy your retirement, sir.” With that the caller hung up.

Theo sat and stared at the phone for a few seconds before hanging up. That short little message drove home everything that Theo already knew.

“What was that about?” came Adam’s voice from behind him.

Theo jumped, startled at Adam’s sudden appearance. “Don’t sneak up on me like that!” He turned a kitchen chair away from the table and sat facing Adam, who was leaning on the doorway. “You should make some noise when you walk.”

“Hey, it’s what I do.” Adam shrugged and smiled his dazzling smile. “But, really, what was that about?”

“It appears that I’ve been put into storage. Well, the both of us have, but I have no idea what they think has happened to you.” Theo leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees and looked at the floor. “I’ve been retired until further notice. Who would have thought I would be retired at thirty-five.”

“That doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me,” Adam said, pushing off the wall and going to stand in front of Theo, who continued to stare at the floor. Adam crouched down so that he could look into his face. There was a tired sadness there that prompted Adam to wrap him arms around Theo’s middle.

Theo’s arms came around him and patted him on the back like one would do with a child. “I guess you’re right. Now I’ll have time to pick up some hobbies or something to keep me occupied.”

“Well, I have some ideas,” Adam said, pulling away from Theo’s embrace a bit and lunging forward to capture Theo’s mouth with his own.

Caught by surprise, Theo sat frozen as Adam ravaged his mouth. Adam’s hands roamed up and down Theo’s arms and over his chest and belly. When Adam’s fingers brushed over one of his nipples, Theo gasped, breaking the trance of disbelief he was in. The kiss broke as well and Theo firmly pushed Adam away.

Adam sat back on his heels between Theo’s legs and draped his arms over the older man’s thighs as Theo sat up against the back of the chair. He stared up into Theo’s flushed face, enjoying the view.

Theo was dumbstruck. He did not know where this reaction had come from. He began automatically reviewing Adam’s behavioral studies in his head.

“Please don’t analyze it,” Adam said as if he was reading Theo’s mind. “I fell in love with you the first moment I saw you. How you tried to treat me like the military told you to, like I was just a lab specimen, but failed in so many little ways. To you I was more than just a tool. I was human.”

“B…but,” Theo stuttered. “I’m male! There is nothing in your files that suggest that you prefer your own gender.”

“Your gender has nothing to do with why I love you.”

“I don’t understand. You shouldn’t…”

“I shouldn’t, what, have sexual urges?” Adam raised himself up on his knees, putting himself more or less face to face with Theo. “I’m not a robot. I have longings and desires too. It’s what comes with the whole human package.”

The serious look on his face quickly turned to a lewd smile. “And speaking of package…” Adam began to massage his hands up Theo’s thighs. He pushed himself up, putting all of his weight on Theo’s legs, successfully pinning him to the chair.

Adam brought his face in close to Theo’s until they were nose to nose. “Don’t think about this, Theo, just let yourself go and feel what your body is telling you.”

Adam closed the bare inches between them. This time the kiss was gentle and slow, but to Adam’s frustration, it was still only one-sided. He was going to have to discover something that would encourage Theo’s participation. Adam was afraid of pushing too far too fast, but if he didn’t push at all he wasn’t going to get anywhere.

Theo sat rigid and motionless under Adam’s ministrations. He wished he could melt through the chair and away from the situation, and then just pretend none of this confrontation had ever occurred.

Despite his explicit lack of participation in Adam’s activity, Theo’s body was starting to succumb to his advances. Which Adam discovered just then, when one of the hands that he had been using to massage Theo’s thigh continued to move upwards and made its final destination Theo’s groin.

“I must be doing something right,” Adam said as he started kissing along Theo’s jawbone. “I told you that you should listen to your body. It seems to be enjoying this very much.”

“Please… just… you shouldn’t be doing this… ah,” Theo gasped when the hand on his growing erection pressed harder. Theo could not deny that what Adam was doing felt wonderful. He had never had a partner so interested in making sure he felt good, and his body didn’t care one bit that the partner was male.

Theo began to squirm as his pants suddenly started to become too tight over a very sensitive area. Adam was glad Theo hadn’t changed out of his sleepwear and into something less accessible, as he ran his hand along the elastic band of Theo’s pajama pants.

Dipping his hand into Theo’s pants, Adam was greeted by Theo’s arousal, which was starting to strain at its confinement. Adam reached his free hand around the back of Theo’s head to hold it steady and kissed him again, at the same time tickling his fingers along Theo’s shaft.

The intimate touch made Theo’s breath catch. He opened his mouth slightly in an attempt to get more air, only to have it invaded by Adam’s tongue, which licked along his lips before darting teasingly into his mouth.

Theo’s brain started to overload from the sensations. The simple acts of someone touching and kissing him were sending him over the edge. He was frustrated that he was giving in, but it felt so good he began to no longer care.

And then Theo started kissing back.

Adam was caught off guard for a moment. Then he showed his appreciation by taking a grip on Theo’s erection, firmly stroking it a few times. When he stopped and removed his hand from Theo’s pants Theo made a small moaning sound at the loss.

Adam didn’t really want to stop, but the way he was standing, partially bent over in order to have access to what he wanted, was giving him a cramp in his back. This was going to have to move somewhere more comfortable. With that, Adam whisked Theo out of the chair, carried him down the hall to the bedroom, and deposited him on the bed.

Theo wiggled nervously as Adam crawled onto the bed and hovered over him on all fours. He had already removed his borrowed clothing so that he was displayed in all of his glory before Theo. Adam smiled beatifically down at his soon-to-be lover before divesting him of his pants and stretching out along his body.

Lips kissed, tongues licked and fingers caressed over sensitive skin. Parts of Theo’s body were explored that he never thought could bring such intense pleasure. He completely lost himself in the sensations Adam was creating. They were so much more than he had ever experienced before. He cried out loudly, his back arching and hands fisting in the sheets, when he plunged over the edge and into Adam’s mouth.

Sated, Theo slumped boneless back onto the bed. He didn’t think he could move even if he wanted to. From beneath half lidded eyes, Theo watched as Adam slid up his body so they could be face to face. Adam’s hardness jumped against Theo’s belly as they kissed. This made Theo’s member twitch in response, though it would be a little while before it would be able to completely respond again.

Lotion that must have at some point been retrieved from the night table next to the bed appeared in Adam’s hand which he generously applied to his erection. He bent the older man’s legs and spread them apart to gain himself better access to his goal. Then, with utmost care, he guided himself slowly into the tight heat that was Theo.

He wasn’t able to last quite as long as he wanted, but it was still more wonderful than Adam ever imagined it would be. Adam collapsed and lay partially on top of Theo, who made no indication that he wanted him to move. Theo seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed it as well, if the semen that was now drying between their two bodies was any indication. Even if he had had doubts in his mind, Theo’s body was a needy thing and responded to lust readily.

Adam lazily wiped Theo and himself off with a corner of the rumpled bed sheet before tossing it to the floor. He dragged the comforter up from where it had gotten bunched up at the foot of the bed and snuggled in close to Theo, who was already more than half asleep. Adam’s own eyelids drooped and he settled in for a much needed rest with his love.

Meanwhile in General Johnson’s office…

“So, what do you think, Dr. Clark?” the general asked. “Has this whole charade of yours gone off the way that you planned?”

“It better have,” Dr. Clark chuckled, settling himself into a chair across the desk from the general. “It’s taken us years to get to this point. Now all we have to do is sit back and record the data from Adam 12’s integration into the real world. The information we’ve gotten from the others showed promise in their ability to adapt. Instead of creating Super Soldiers, it’s more like we are creating Super Spies.”

“Let’s hope that you get whatever data you need quickly so we can start breeding those spies of yours soon. The higher ups won’t be completely happy with this project until they start getting something out of it that they can actually use.”

“Well, things like this take time. You can’t force them along.” Dr. Clark stood to leave. He paused in the doorway on his way out and turned back to the general. “They are all only human after all.”

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