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By Catherine
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Avon lay as he had so often over the last few weeks--naked, sprawled across satin sheets. His eyes were closed. After all, there was nothing new to look at: smooth walls, cases containing objects that he preferred not to dwell on, a small fresher unit, and the bed.

He had long ago given up on the others finding him. That life seemed far in his distant past. He hadn't been able to get to his teleport bracelet on Domo. Servalan had bought him, taking great delight in her acquisition. When typical interrogation tactics had failed, she turned to this, making Avon into one of the most popular sex slaves in Freedom City.

Avon winced slightly as he shifted. Most of his recent visitors had been male, quite aggressively so, and while the medical system was adequate, Servalan had decided that painkillers were coddling her prisoner. Isolated, except for his customers and, occasionally Servalan herself, Avon wondered what had happened to his crew; if they were still searching. But during bouts of exhausted sleep, it wasn't Scorpio's crew he dreamt of. It was one man. It was Blake.

* * *

Tarrant, Vila, and the girls were sitting at a table in a quiet section of the bar. It was as dark and dirty as the rest of the bars on this planet, far from the heart of the Federation. It was a haven for smugglers and, in Orac's opinion, rebels.

"Blake," Vila whispered. "It's got to be."

Tarrant and the girls cautiously watched the figure Vila was so sure of. It hardly looked like the image Vila had given them. Oh, he was tall, powerful looking, but the overlong curls were shaggy and the clothes ragged. He had collected a drink and was settling down at a table, alone.

"Vila, are you--"

Tarrant didn't get the chance to finish his question. He, Dayna, and Soolin watched uneasily as Vila approached the table.

"Mind if I join you?"

The curly head shot up at the sound of Vila's voice. Rising with a speed that belied his bulk, the big man wrapped Vila in a hug. From the pleased expression on Vila's face, it had to be Blake. The others relaxed slightly, amused as Vila struggled loose and beckoned them to follow. They travelled down several corridors and into a large space docking bay. Vila and Blake entered a ship. The others were close on their heels.

A few minutes later and they all were seated on the flight deck of a powerful cruiser. Blake's appeal was more obvious now. A face that was hard yet one that still hung on to its innocence; his aura of power was all the more captivating in close proximity. Vila introduced them all and Blake seemed genuinely pleased to meet them.

"And Cally?" Blake's baritone gently asked.

Vila shook his head. Blake reached out and absently patted his shoulder. "Jenna too." There was a painful pause before the inevitable question. "Avon?"

"We don't know for sure. Servalan had him but Orac thinks he's on Freedom City."

Blake's expression was hard to read. He seemed angry and fearful and hopeful all at once. "Well, we better go get him, hadn't we?"

Vila nodded and Blake rose.

"You have a teleport?"

After a quick glance at the others, Vila replied. "Yes."

"Then we'll take your ship, Scorpio, tight?" Dayna handed Blake a spare bracelet. "And you can explain to me how you lost Avon in the first place."

That night, Blake lay in one of the bunks on Scorpio. The thought of what had been done to Avon, Orac's details, chilled him to the depths of his soul. His Avon, tortured and forced into sexual slavery. An involuntary shiver coursed down his spine. Avon raped, humiliated, and most likely injured by men who took their pleasure from inflicting pain. And what will I have to do to free you, Blake mused. He knew and he hated it.

"Orac, what is our best chance for freeing Avon?" Blake remembered the eagerness with which he asked the private question. And his horror at the answer.

"The strategy most likely to succeed would involve one man going in as a customer. You would be taken to him to engage in the usual activities. His room is shielded from teleport technology. Tarrant and Vila can disable the shielding device which is located in the master computer center. It should take them an hour or slightly less. When they have done so, they will signal, and you can teleport yourself and Avon to the ship."

Blake had frowned at the solution. "What are the usual activities, Orac, and why are they necessary for this plan?"

"The usual activities include forced fellatio, bondage, beatings, and anal penetration. Their performance is required because all activities are monitored both for security reasons and for Servalan's viewing. You must remain with Avon until you have received the signal. To do so, you must appear as a customer."

It horrified Blake then, and hours later his disgust had not diminished.

Turning over, he lay on his stomach, face pillowed on his arms. He had wanted Avon back on Liberator, had almost gone to him after Gan's death, but was afraid. He had often felt Avon's eyes on him, burning into his back as they stood watch on the flight deck. Even more often he had caught himself watching Avon, usually while the other man was bent over a console or struggling underneath one. The snugly fitting black leather the other man favoured had done little to discourage Blake's hidden desires. But he had feared Avon's scorn or disgust and contented himself with fantasies and his own hands. Now he had to pretend to put those fantasies into reality. At least he wouldn't have to actually do very much to Avon. With any luck, Vila and Tarrant would give the signal soon after he arrived and they'd be able to escape.

Turning over again, he sighed. He couldn't sleep before, worried about what had happened. Now he was worried about what would happen, worried and unwillingly aroused. Resolutely turning his back to the flight deck, he stared at the wall, counting sheep that turned into Avons as he finally dozed off.

* * *

"You do realize, of course, that he's quite expensive, and difficult." The woman spoke quietly and calmly. As if she were discussing some pet as opposed to a man, Blake thought sourly. But he smiled and inclined his head.

"I do indeed. That's why I'm willing to meet your fee. It's no fun for me if he's willing." Blake added. The woman smiled faintly and gestured for him to follow her. Secure that his disguise would grant him anonymity from Servalan, he wondered if Avon would be able to recognize him. Scruffy and bearded, he looked little like he had on Liberator. His curls were dyed black, contacts turning his eyes blue.

Stopping abruptly so as not to run into the woman, Blake tried to collect his thoughts and go over his plan as she unlocked the door. It opened silently.

"There is an intercom by the door. Let us know when you are ready to leave. Enjoy."

"I'm sure I will." Blake replied automatically, stepping through, the door closing firmly behind him. He was already tense, waiting for the signal, anxiety over what he might have to do while he waited for it making him break out in a sweat. His eyes widened as he took in the room. Even though Orac had been informative, he hadn't been prepared for this.

The room was lit with a red glow, highlighting, in Blake's mind, its sinister aspects. The carpet was thick plush, no doubt to muffle sound. What appeared to be clear plastic cases on the wall contained all manner of devices, bondage equipment, dildos, cockrings, whips. And on the black satin covered bed lay Avon. He was clearly angry and frustrated, maybe a little uncertain, and certainly not yet able to recognize his former crewmate. Blake wanted to reach out and comfort him and was struck by the enormity of the role he had taken on. They had an audience and he a part to play. Yet, Avon looked so vulnerable, completely naked, no weapons. But Blake had forgotten something.

"Are you here to stare or fuck?"

Caustic and arrogant, my Avon, Blake mused. You always did cover your fears with anger. Intended for the camera, a dangerous smile curved his full lips as he approached the bed.

"Both perhaps. I'm here to amuse myself, with you." He hoped that ViIa and Tarrant wouldn't take too long. He darted a quick glance at his watch. As soon as he received the signal.... His hand slipped down into his pocket, fingering the teleport bracelets concealed there.

Avon's gaze had narrowed at the sound of his voice and Blake had the feeling that Avon was already suspicious. He could disguise his appearance but not his voice. Hopefully, Servalan wouldn't recognize it. Hopefully, he wouldn't have to do anything very serious to Avon. Tie him up, taunt him. The others should be signaling soon.

Abruptly, Blake reached down, twisting fingers into silky hair, pulling the head back, exposing the delicate skin of the neck. Before Avon could react, he bent, whispering before biting gently. "It's Blake, play along with me, Avon." Pulling back, as if to admire the marks left by his teeth, Blake saw surprised disbelief mixed with recognition.

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