Time Heals by CJ aka WritinginCT (NC-17)
Fandom: Stargate SGA
Pairing: multiple m/m (primarily OC's), m/f, m/m/f
Warnings: rape/ torture recovery (non graphic descriptions of the assault itself)
Categories: Drama, romance, friendship, family, BDsM.
Disclaimer: I don't own the recognizable characters I'm just inspired by them.
Status: Complete 6/08/2011 53200 words
Summary: Time may have healed their bodies, but for two damaged men assigned to Atlantis, it will take meeting each other to truly become whole again.
Note: Set, with permission, in the alternate SGA universe The Ties That Bind created by keiramarcos , which was inspired by xanthe 's works Coming Home and General & Dr. Sheppard.
Thanks to singletailwhip for the grammar beta! She's a master comma wrangler and error catcher!
Special thanks to Keira for letting me play in her sandbox and her support and beta. I adore the TTB series and I'm so excited to have permission to be a part of it- thank you, Keira!
Steven was mentally trying to steel himself emotionally for the evening--he was having dinner with Joey and Carmine in their quarters.
He went to his closet and pulled out a small crate of wine bottles, the latest selection from his wine club. Around each bottle there were a couple of brochures from the vineyard held with a rubber band. He pulled one out and glanced through it.
The scenic images of the vineyard were gorgeous, and the wine making area was modern and well-kept, but it was the photo of a collar-wearing submissive that caught his eye. She had beautiful dark hair, and dark eyes and she looked to be Greek or Italian in heritage. She was sitting in a porch swing with a wine glass in hand and a pensive look on her face.
Steven thought she had a sad aura about her and he wondered why. His interest in her surprised him, he wasn't one for being attracted to another Dom's submissive, it just wasn't his nature, but there was something appealing about the woman and he chalked his interest up to not having had sex in while.
With a final glance at the woman's picture, Steven dropped the brochure back into the crate and stood with the wine bottle in hand. He tapped his radio and had himself beamed down to Atlantis.
Their door chimed precisely on time and Joey answered it.
Joey answered the door and his smile was wide seeing Steven on the other side of it. "Steven."
It was difficult for both of them to not greet the other with the affection they generally shared, but they managed. Joey stepped aside and gestured for Steven to enter. He heard something sizzling and popping in a pan and there was a heavenly aroma of garlic and spices in the air.
"Something smells good," he said pleasantly as he turned to where Carmine was cooking.
Carmine's attention was on the pan but he said, "I hope you're hungry, Colonel, my Mamma never taught me how to make small portions."
Steven stepped over to where Carmine was cooking and leaned over to inspect what was in the pan. "Starving actually. What are you making?"
Carmine looked up with a smirk. "It's supposed to be chicken marsala, sir. But out here we don't exactly have chicken, so it's chicken-wannabe, and I don't have any marsala wine, so we're winging it on that too, sir."
Steven held up the wine bottle, his big hand over the label. "It's not marsala but it's a really good red. And I think we can drop the sirs tonight."
Carmine nodded. "Sounds good."
Joey asked from where he was setting the table, "Latest from the wine club?"
"Yeah. I think I'm going to be ordering another case, I'm really enjoying this one."
Carmine nodded towards the bottle and said to Joey, "Why don't you open that so it can breathe a little."
Joey took the bottle from Steven and stood staring at the label for a moment before he started laughing.
"What's so funny?" Carmine asked.
Joey didn't answer, but instead he held up the bottle so Carmine could see the label.
Playfully Carmine teased, "Hey, the man's got good taste. What can I say?"
"What is it?" Steven asked, a little confused.
"That's from my family's vineyard."
They all had a good laugh about it and Steven felt himself relaxing even though he wasn't quite sure that he should. Dinner was good and went well with the wine. Steven was watching Joey and Carmine, cataloging how happy they seemed to make each other. There was no tension between them and Steven wondered if they were even aware how often they touched each other. They were good together in a thousand little ways that he and Joey just never were.
Their dinner conversation was casual, talking about work and Joey's schooling and other random topics. Steven found himself enjoying Carmine's company. After they had all eaten vast quantities of Carmine's wanna-be-marsala, Joey and Carmine got up to get coffee and dessert. Steven stood and stretched and amused himself by looking at some of the photographs displayed in their quarters. There were a few of Joey and Carmine, and a few that he knew where friends of Joey's, but there was a large quantity of others that had to be Carmine's friends and family.
One in particular caught his eye, it was of Carmine standing with his arm around the woman from the wine brochure. She appeared much happier in this photograph and Steven wondered what was different.
Carmine approached and handed Steven a cup of coffee. "That's my oldest sister, Maria. I think that was taken three summers ago."
"She's a beautiful woman."
"Don't think she doesn't know it, too."
"Don't they always?" Steven replied with a smirk.
Joey carried plates with slices of cake to the table and Steven and Carmine returned to sit. Steven's eye returned to the picture of Maria.
"She's in the brochure that came with the wine."
"Yeah, all my sisters take turns."
"She didn't seem all that happy in the brochure."
Carmine sighed. "Yeah, well, she hasn't been happy in long time."
Steven's eyebrow shot up and he felt a protective flare course through him. Was there a Dom in her life that needed his ass kicked? Although Steven couldn't honestly imagine Carmine letting anyone abuse a member of his family--Carmine's protective instincts were as strong as his own.
Carmine caught Steven's reaction and quickly clarified. "It's nothing like that, Steven. She lost her husband in the line of duty about a year ago. They were together since college and she's just taken it very hard."
"I'm sorry. Was he military?"
Carmine had taken a bite of cake so Joey answered for him. "No, he was fire fighter, he was killed fighting a wildfire in the foothills."
"Damn," Steven said softly, there just wasn't anything else he could say.
They finished their coffee and dessert and Carmine refilled his mug and said casually, "I'm going to go get some air on the balcony, give you both some time to talk."
Steven and Joey sat across from each other, neither knowing exactly what to say, it was something that had never happened between them before and they were oddly uncomfortable.
Finally Steven broke the ice and said, "I just have one question. Are you happy?"
"Yes," Joey said without hesitation, his smile radiant and genuine.
It hurt more than he thought it would but Steven forced a smile back and replied, "Then that's all I need to know."
Joey stuck his head out the door and let Carmine know they were done talking. If Carmine was surprised at the incredible shortness of their conversation, he didn't let on. Steven stood and prepared to leave. He met Carmine's eyes and got a brief nod letting him know it was okay to pull Joey into a chaste hug and press a familial kiss to Joey's temple.
At the door Carmine said, "I'll walk with you."
They had made it halfway to the transporter at the end of the corridor when Steven turned to Carmine and said, "I'm not going to lie and say that it's easy seeing Joey with someone else, but I want you to know that I am glad for you both. You both deserve to be happy, and from where I'm standing you're able to do that for each other."
"He's everything to me, Steven. And I'm doing my damnedest to honor the gifts he gives me every single day."
"You can see that in his self-confidence, Carmine. He's getting back to the way he was before Borden."
Carmine nodded. "I think Atlantis is good for him."
Steven stuck out his hand. "Actually, Carmine, I think it's you that's good for him. Atlantis was just the icing on the cake."
'I'm glad you came for dinner, Steven," Carmine said warmly and shook Steven's offered hand.
"So am I am. Good night."
Steven turned to continue on to the transporter and was almost there when Carmine called out to him. "Steven?"
Steven turned and faced Carmine who walked towards him and asked, "How extreme a sadist are you?"
He shrugged and replied, "Middle of the pack I guess. Why?"
"My sister. She's a masochist, one that also falls in the middle of the pack to use your words. Maria's a very private person, but I know she's lonely. You should visit the vineyard next time you're on Earth, say hello."
"Do I really look like I need to be fixed up?"
Carmine smirked. "No, not at all. I just saw how you looked at her picture, and honestly there isn't anyone I would trust more with my sister. I know what kind of man you are."
"I'll think about it."
"Mamma is already familiar with who you are. Joey sent her a three-volume email with his life history. You're welcome there anytime."
Steven chuckled and shook his head. "I do have some leave coming."
Carmine grinned. "California is lovely this time of year... well any time of year really, but you know what I mean."
"I'll think about it, Carmine."
Carmine nodded and Steven turned and headed for the transporter.
Things were quiet on the city with Colonel Sheppard back on Earth, and it didn't help matters that Dr. Weir had canceled their war games until his return. Carmine and the other SEALs spent a lot of time in the water, taking advantage of the time to stay familiar with the underside of the city and all its potential enemy entrance points.
Joey had finished his current coursework and was waiting for the next Daedalus supply run for his next set of course books and materials to arrive and found himself with the unusual occurrence of having spare time to himself.
The two men also spent a lot of time with Katie Brown. It was casual and date-like. They ate together often in the mess hall and watched movies in one of the open lounges. She even convinced the two to join her at her yoga class, something that afterwards, both men laughingly admitted they had enjoyed and found relaxing. The three spent time out on a pier where some enterprising person had created a make-shift horseshoe pit that was generally in use by military and civilians alike, surrounded by good-natured betting and trash-talking. It had a carnival-like atmosphere that was a welcome distraction from the daily stress of the mission.
She got along well with Adrian and Ramon, and enjoyed sharing stories of her own childhood as they shared theirs.
Katie also shared her work with Carmine and Joey, and was surprised that they actually cared and were interested in what she did.
They were waiting to play, however. Dr. McKay was Katie's choice to act as safety net and he was on Earth with Colonel Sheppard. In a way it was good, the three were forming a strong bond, built on genuine respect, affection, and attraction.
Carmine blinked as the person walking with Colonel Sheppard registered in his brain. A heartbeat later a big grin spread over his face.
He approached the two men.
Ethan Marsh returned the grin and Colonel Sheppard appeared amused and said, "I take you two have met?"
Carmine replied, "Yes, sir. We've worked more than a few ops together."
Ethan stuck out his hand and said formally, "Commander Picone."
Carmine laughed and pulled Ethan into a brotherly hug. "Long time no see, Marsh."
Ethan clapped Carmine on the back and stepped back. "So how's your fiancee, Lisa? Wife by now, right? Is she here on Atlantis?"
Carmine shook his head lightly. "We split, after..." he trailed off and his fingers brushed his ruined cheek. "She just couldn't handle it."
"As my pleasure master said, her fucking loss."
Colonel Sheppard let out a little "hoorah" under his breath that earned him smirks from the other two men.
"Once I'm settled in, we'll have to catch up on shit, Picone. It's been a while."
"Yeah, absolutely. I'll even cook, your skinny ass looks like it could use some pasta," he said with a grin before turning to John, "Sir, I wanted to schedule a meeting with Dr. McKay to discuss entering into a social contract with Dr. Brown. Will you need to be present, sir?"
"Katie Brown?" John asked in disbelief.
"Yeah. Joey likes her, I like her, and she likes us. We think it could be a win all around, sir."
"No shit. You are one lucky bastard, Picone. I don't have a problem with you meeting with McKay during his normal office hours, he's done that for other contracts he's negotiated. So, I take it Olsen is settling into his collar okay?"
"Yes, he is, sir. Actually we're both settling into it quite well."
"Good. I admit I was a little concerned for him when I accepted him into my command. But on a personal level you both seem content, and professionally Master Chief Frost raves about his job performance and wants to steal him for the Navy."
"He works very hard, sir, and it's nice to know that it's noticed."
"It's definitely been noticed, and don't tell him this quite yet, because I don't know when I can make it happen, but Frost, Lorne, and I have been discussing sending Olsen to OTS after he finishes his degree. He's organized and efficient and the people who report directly to him give him nothing but high marks in leadership, and god knows, we can definitely use more officers like that out here."
A goofy, proud smile grew on Carmine's face. "Thank you, Colonel. I won't say anything until it's finalized. And I'll make that appointment with Doctor McKay to discuss the contract."
The men made their goodbyes and Carmine walked away with a lighthearted spring in his step.
The moment Carmine turned the corner and was out of sight, the smile fell from Ethan's face and his brow furrowed.
"What is it?" John asked.
Ethan swallowed hard and said sadly, "It should have been me in that explosion, not Picone. That was supposed to be my op, but me and a couple of others on my team were in the infirmary with a nasty case of food poisoning so his team got called in at the last minute to take it instead."
"He doesn't seem to hold it against you."
"No, it's not his way. But it doesn't make me feel any better about the fucking situation."
"I know, kid. There are some things you'll always carry with you even if there wasn't a damn thing you could have done about it."
"Yeah. That sucks about his fiancee, he really loved her. She was gorgeous, but between you and me, she was a complete gold-digging bitch. None of us could stand her."
"He's recently collared a male submissive, Master Sergeant Joseph Olsen. He's in charge of our larger equipment, like the MALPs and ATVs. He's a good guy and they seem to be very happy from the scuttlebutt that I've heard."
"Good, Picone's a fucking hero. He deserves it."
John clapped Ethan on the shoulder and replied, "Yes, he does."
Carmine lightly rapped on the door jamb to Rodney McKay's office with his knuckle. Rodney was completely focused on the data tablet in front on him and it took him a moment to look up.
"Dr. McKay?" Carmine asked respectfully.
"Oh, yes. Commander Picone. Please come in," Rodney said as he tried not to stare. He gestured to the empty chair in front of his desk.
Carmine sat down, keeping all of his movements friendly and his dynamic toned down.
"So you're here about Katie Brown?" Rodney asked.
"Yes. My submissive Joey Olsen and I have spent some time socially with Katie and there is a mutual interest on our part and hers in taking things to the next level. She informed me that you would negotiate a social contract on her behalf."
Prior to coming to Atlantis, Rodney had known some general information about Joey's assault, but not specifics, and it had taken him by surprise to find out that he had accepted a collar--most submissives to survive an assault like that either went non-dynamic or could simply never trust a Dom enough again to accept a collar. When he received the email from Carmine requesting a meeting, he had pulled up Carmine's file and read it cover to cover. When he was done, he had just stared at the screen. Picone was a model soldier and from all accounts a loyal and compassionate man. It had saddened Rodney to see the man's ruined face staring out from his file picture.
"I read your file, Commander. And though I don't know the specifics, I do know about Olsen's abduction and assault. And I know Dr. Brown. So let me ask you--why do you want to contract with her?"
"If I tell you something in confidence will you promise to keep it between us?"
"Of course. With the exception being if I am asked about it directly by Colonel Sheppard."
"Completely understandable. So, here's the thing. Joey has never been with a woman in his life, and before meeting Katie he had never found one sexually arousing before. There is just something about her that has Joey completed turned on and I think it's wonderful."
"Never?" Rodney asked incredulously.
"Never. I promised him when he told me that if and when he did find a woman that he wanted, that I would do everything I could to make it happen for him, so here I am. But that doesn't specifically answer your question does it?"
"Yes and no."
"After Joey told me about Katie, I went and talked with her for a while. She's soft and gentle and beautiful, and so... graceful. And what's amazing is that she's just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She makes me want to hold her and protect her from the world and make her smile. At the same time I want to give her everything and anything she could ever need or want, physically or dynamically."
Rodney cleared his throat at Carmine's heartfelt words. "You realize if you ever said all that to her that she'd be in tears the rest of the day."
Carmine frowned a little. "I've got a sneaking feeling that it's been a very long time since anyone's treated her like she should be treated."
It was Rodney's turn to frown. "You wouldn't be wrong on that, Commander. She's seen some very harsh treatment in the past that she definitely didn't deserve."
Carmine raised an eyebrow. "Is the Dom responsible here on Atlantis?"
Rodney caught the undercurrent of deadly rage in Carmine. It was the same one that flowed in John and Lorne and Gerard and any other decent Dom when they heard about a submissive being abused.
"No. He was but he's long gone now, and isn't in a position to hurt anyone ever again."
"I'll be honest with you, Commander, there isn't anything in your file or here in person that makes me hesitate about Katie contracting with you. Your training and dynamic meshes nicely with hers, and I'm not getting any sort of a bully vibe from you. Are you planning on being exclusive with your collared submissive and Katie?"
"Absolutely. In fact the three of us discussed condoms and we've all mutually agreed that after we enter the contract that we will all go for a physical and blood work and will be forgoing the use of condoms once that's done."
"That's a big step."
"That is the trust and commitment I have with my current submissive, and the level of trust and commitment that exists between us and Katie. We aren't just looking to hook up and play, Dr. McKay, we're looking to include Katie in our relationship as an equal member."
"Hmph," Rodney replied and thought for a moment before asking, "How long do you intend to contract for?"
"We all decided that three months would be a good place to start and that at the end of three months we'll have the options to end it if it's not working out, or extend it if we want to, but what I actually see happening is Katie accepting a formal collar from me and we make it permanent."
"Anyone ever tell you that you're a hopeless romantic?" Rodney asked with a chuckle.
Carmine grinned back. "All the time actually, Dr. McKay."
Carson handled their three physicals with amusement. If had been a betting man and shown a picture of Carmine and asked if he thought that the big man would end up with not one but two of the gentlest submissives Carson had ever met, he would have bet against it. Yet here the three of them were in his infirmary, the virtual ink still drying on their social contract.
When he was finished he asked Commander Picone to stay behind for a moment. Carmine did and allowed Carson to lead him to a private area for their conversation.
"Is something wrong, Doctor?"
Carson smiled gently. "No, on the contrary. I have, what I hope, is good news for you."
"What is it?"
Carson held up the healing wand he had grabbed on his way in. "This is an Ancient healing wand. Until recently they weren't very efficient or powerful enough for major healings and they took a painfully long time to recharge when we used them. Doctor Kusanagi was able to repair the charging station for them and now they are nothing short of a miracle as far as the injuries they can heal and they now recharge in minutes."
Carmine looked at the device in Carson's hands curiously. "That's great, Doc, but I don't have any injuries, so why tell me?"
"Two-fold reason actually. One, I believe that I can use the wand to repair the vascular damage done to Sergeant Olsen's penis. With the exception of the lost testicle, it should return his genitals to fully functioning."
Carmine's mouth fell open. "Are you serious?"
"I am ninety-nine point nine percent sure that it will work. I'm giving myself a sliver of an out, but I truly believe this will work."
"That's... I don't even have the words, Doc."
Carson reached over and patted Carmine's arm. "I know. Especially now that you're embarking on this new relationship."
"Are there any risks? Could it make it worse?"
"No. It will either make it better or not work at all."
Carmine swallowed hard. "You said your reason was two-fold?"
"Aye," Carson said and pointed to Carmine's scarred arm, "May I?"
Carmine nodded and Carson activated the wand and ran it over a thick rope of scar tissue. Slowly the scar began to fade until there was nothing but healthy smooth skin remaining.
Carson deactivated the wand and tactfully looked away as Carmine traced the smooth area with visibly shaking fingers. He gave Carmine a moment then said, "With the amount of scar tissue you have, it will take a while, but we can fix all of your scars."
Carmine tried to speak, but the lump in his throat wouldn't let him. He cleared his throat and asked, "And Joey's back?"
Carson nodded. "Aye, his won't take long at all. Whenever you're ready, we can get it done."
Joey entered their quarters in a rush. Carmine would never have radioed him in the middle of his shift if it wasn't important. He didn't see Carmine right away, he wasn't in the main living area or out on balcony. The door to the bathroom was open and the light on, however, and Joey quickly headed for it.
He wasn't prepared to see Carmine standing with his shirt off standing in front of the mirror staring at his own reflection, tears streaming down his cheeks.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Joey asked in a panic.
Carmine met Joey's eyes in the mirror and raised his hand and stroked his scarred cheek. "I never let myself hope... that these could ever be fixed. I had to let go of that so I could just accept them and move on, you know?"
Joey didn't know what to say, not really. He had never seen his Dom in such an obviously emotionally exposed place before. Gently he replied, "Yeah, I know."
"Doc Beckett's got this healing tool. It will get rid of all of the scars. Yours and mine. Look here," Carmine said as he pointed to his arm. "He used it for less than a minute here and the scar is just gone."
Joey's fingers ghosted over the patch of smooth skin on Carmine's arm. It looked as if someone had simply dragged an eraser over his arm and left a path of perfect skin in its wake.
"Is this for real?" Joey asked with a lump in his throat.
"It's real. And," Carmine turned around to face Joey and continued, "he thinks the tool would fix the vascular damage to your penis."
Joey felt a little lightheaded at that and grabbed the edge of the sink to steady himself. "That's..." he couldn't finish the thought.
Carmine pulled him into a bone-crushing bear hug and hoarsely finished for him, "Huge, I know. I'm still trying to get my head around it all."
"When can we do this?"
"I scheduled it for tomorrow."
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