A Woman and Her Stepmother
“Hey Fara, you got a minute?” An all too familiar female voice called out to Fara as she sealed the maintenance hatch on her new personal star fighter.
Fara groaned silently as she used the powered driver to screw in the last bolt successfully sealing the small maintenance hatch on the underside of her Starfighter. Being under her new Starfighter, making the best use of the crawl space she could, as proving quite difficult as it offered her very little move to room. Being lifted just enough so she could slide under and properly work, it was still uncomfortable for her but nothing she wasn’t used to. While Fara was by no means a master mechanic she still possessed significant knowledge and experience to make adjustments that allowed her ship to greatly outperform nearly any other Zordon vehicle. Despite that, the last thing she wanted to do that evening was be pulled into a conversation while making adjustments to her new ship.
Having just been issued it as a replacement for the one she crashed landed on Earth, Fara was quick to make whatever adjustments she could get her hands on and complete as soon as possible. It was not hard for Aslan to get her a brand new ship, he had one ready to be issued to her barely a planetary rotation after she was shot down; that’s how certain he was she and Felicity would return. It was a top notch Zordon fighter, a Hawkeye class Starfighter; the fastest and most maneuverable ship in the Starfighter category of their entire fleet. It was a step up from her old fighter but only when she first got it. Thanks to the upgrades and modifications Fara made to her original ship it would have easily been able to outmaneuver her new one, which hurt her to know it had essentially become rubble. But, she had the intentions of making her new ship even better, though it would certainly take a while.
Fara was only in the first phase of performing basic modifications and upgrades that evening. Though she was still able to get her hands on newer and more powerful versions than what she had it would certainly take a while to get it all done. Unfortunately, that was made all the more difficult but the fact that a Xulon fleet was on its way and she had to take time to get Jack and Amanda acclimated to living amongst her people. Though Jack and Amanda were getting along quite well with her people it was still taking up quite a bit of her time. That meant she had little time to work on her new starship, which with the Xulon fleet coming she needed every time she could afford to work.
However, as Fara slid out from under her starship, her eyes immediately rested upon one of the last individuals she wanted to see standing nearby. She barely had to turn her head to see that the voice who spoke to her belonged to none other than Lilia. To say she was annoyed to see her old friend, and step mother, standing nearby was annoying would be an understatement. That late in the evening, all Fara wanted to do was finish up her task, which she had just did beyond a few quick checks, and then head to bed. Speaking to Lilia was not how she dreamed of spending her last waking time of the cycle but she knew her stepmother too well to know that she would get away without speaking. While Lilia was not a fighter like Fara she was every bit of stubborn, if not more so, making a conversation with her inevitable.
“Unfortunately I do.” Fara hesitantly answered as she slowly sat up.
Lilia tilted her head in confusion that would have been adorable if she wasn’t a full grown adult, only a couple planetary cycles older than Fara. Fara knew that she was playing dumb, her feelings were perfectly clear about how she felt. After growing up together she was well aware of Lilia’s almost mystical ability to manipulate people as if she was a telepath. She was one of the best psychologist in their fleet, usually dealing with stress and combat trauma; meaning to Fara she was not just a master at reading people but also at manipulating them. Fara was often concerned Lilia was being controlling with her and due to that it was difficult for trust to exist. Though Lilia’s expression seemed genuine she questioned its authenticity to the pint she wanted to get up and leave.
“So, you and I are not on good terms?” Lilia blurted out after neither of them said a word for what seemed like forever.
Fara flared her nostrils at Lilia as she stood up. “On good terms, what made you think we were on good terms? Did you think we were after you became my father’s life mate a couple planetary cycles after my mother died, despite being almost half his age?”
Lilia barely gave any sign of acknowledgement to Fara’s response other than a soft sigh. “Fara, you know that is pretty common among our species, especially when they lose a life mate. You are well aware of this and have been since we were kids. Remember when we were in the academy together and we used to fantasy about which instructor we wanted as a mate?”
Fara glared at Lilia in disgust and bore her fangs. “That was a LONG time ago and you know it was just us being stupid.”
“That is only partially true.” Lilia casually replied, Fara’s fangs not appearing to bother her in the slightest. “Though we were joking at the time the natural desire of species to have a strong and experienced mate is quite powerful. Because of desire for strong mates it is natural for us to seek mates quite a bit older than ourselves. Both males and females of our species are affected by that desire; I just actually acted on it with your father.”
Fara bit her lip as she stared Lilia down. She wanted to argue but deep down knew that Lilia was right; it wasn’t a secret or anything as all of the Zordons were aware of it when they came of age. Even Fara had the desire to find an older mate when she reached adulthood; the crush she had on her academy instructor was proof of that, though she never acted on it. However, that conversation Lilia was attempting to have with her was not going in the direction she wanted to at all and it was starting to annoy her already.
Fara crossed her arms under her chest and shook her head. “As much as I love to discuss the old days where we talking about guys we wanted to mate with I have to ask where this is going?” Fara looked down at the grease and other substances covering her hands and fur from working on her starship. “And I would like to clean up as soon as possible so can we please move this along?”
“Straight to the point as always, you are no fun.” Lilia replied with a loud huff. “I was just trying to make a basic conversation with you to see if we can work things out, maybe get past the tension between us.” Lilia gave Fara a slight but stern smile. “But, I always want to try and help you if I can.”
Fara gave Lilia an annoyed grunt. “By talking about our mating desires?”
“Well, that will eventually lead to where I am going. You know I like to take detours when I am discussing things with people who have problems. It allows me to get a better understanding of the problem and go come up with a solution.”
“Of course you do.” Fara shook her head in annoyance once again. “But I am going to get straight to the point and ask what is your endgame?”
Lilia leaned her head up towards the ceiling. “As frustrating as ever Fara.” Lilia looked back down at Fara and gave her a serious look. “I hate having to get straight to the point so I will just ask it.” Lilia took a deep breath and blurted out. “What is going on with you between you and Jack? It is obvious to me there is something going on and I want to try and help however I can . . . if you allow it?”
Fara had to resist taking a step back at how blunt Lilia was in her question. Though the woman had always been kind of blunt, she had a talent for throwing out questions and statements that could throw people off guard. She had seen Lilia use that strategy to throw people off to get what she wants and also to get answers from stubborn patients. Lilia had used that on Fara more than once when they were in the academy together but hadn’t in quite some time. She hated having that strategy used against her and it made Fara suspicious of what Lilia’s goal was or what she was trying to say; even though she was certain it was to clarify a point.
“What about it?” Fara growled. “I have a pretty good relationship with him and Amanda if that is what you are after.”
“That is the general direction I am going in,” Lilia smiled devilishly that made Fara a little nervous. “You have feelings for Jack?”
Fara’s jaw dropped as her mind tried to comprehend what she had just heard coming out of Lilia’s mouth. She had heard a lot come out of Lilia’s mouth in the time they have known each other but that was by far the most blunt. It was hard for her to tell what caught her more off guard; how sudden Lilia had blurted out the question or the fact that she was spot on with her analysis. Fara was so caught off guard that she just stood there gazing at Lilia not saying a word who just looked back at her waiting for a response. Try as she might trying to respond was proving to be incredibly difficult, to the point that Fara eventually decided to just say the first thing that came into her mind.
“What the galaxy are you getting at Lilia?” Fara loudly growled.
That time it was Lilia who produced a VERY annoyed grunt. “You just heard me, Fara. I am not going to repeat it and I do not need to.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“That I already know how you feel about him. You have never been hard to read, especially when it comes to your feelings for attractive males, which Jack is.” Lilia said as Fara growled at her even though she internally admitted that last part was true. “I am a psychologist so reading people and figuring out their desires and problems is second nature for me.”
“An, that one is on me, should have known that was coming.” Fara casually responded than switched to a serious tone. “If you already know than why are you bringing it up?”
Lilia seemed to be getting so annoyed by Fara that she started tapping her foot on the floor. “I should come to accept your stubbornness by now. My goodness your selective hearing is terrible.” Lilia nearly face palmed herself. “I said I wanted to help you and that is what I intend to do.”
Fara wanted to growl but restrained herself. “This is not my first time trying having feelings towards someone. I do not need or want your help.”
Lilia playfully smirked, seeming to enjoy Fara’s growing frustration. “Well, I’m going to give you advice whether you like it or not.”
Fara found herself wanting to lunge at Lilia but restrained herself from doing so. Receiving romantic advice from her step mother, who was only anew years older than her, was not how she envisioned the conversation going. Considering that she had been in a relationship longer than Lilia, with Daniel before his death, the way Fara saw it she didn’t any advice. That is, till she remembered how awkward her courting with Daniel had been. She was incredibly bad at nearly every conversation they had, especially when it was romantic to the point where she had trouble speaking to him. If it hadn’t been for Daniel being the romantic one their relationship would almost certainly had fail as he compensated for her lack of romance. If Fara was going to attempt a courtship with Jack, and she hadn’t decided on that yet, than she knew her approach to romance had to change.
As much as Fara hated to admit it, the best person she knew for romantic advice was standing right in front of her. She remembered how quickly it had taken Lilia to get Fara’s father to be her life mate. Though Fara was still unsure how she managed to start it but Lilia was the one who intimated her courtship with Aslan and in hardly any time at all they had become mates. Fara still remembered the day Aslan told her that he had not only become life mates with her academy friend but that she was also carrying his child. It happened so quickly that Fara joked internally that they only courted for a single planetary rotation before becoming life mates. Though at the time it disgusted Fara it also impressed her and in that current moment told her that there was probably no one better to get romantic advice from; at least advice to get Jack to reveal his feelings for her.
Fara hung her shoulders low and let out a low, annoyed sigh. “Alright, what is you “great” advice all knowing Lilia?”
“Hm, I knew you would see it my way.” Lilia replied with a devious grin that caused Fara to roll her eyes. “First, we need to take your current situation with Jack into account, which I would describe at the moment as good friends. His feelings need to be confirmed first before anything else.”
“That is easier said than done. Jack is not the most . . . open when it comes to his feelings. Though I know he has feelings for me it is rather hard to tell if it is more than just adoring my body. As you stated, he certainly likes what he sees.” Fara responded, moving her hands over her body to prove the point. “I have seen his staring at my chest and rear end more than once and I know he likes them.”
“Of course he does, you got an amazing figure, almost as good as mine.” Lilia stated, gently poking Fara’s chest, causing her to jump back and growl. “That is why the advice I am going to give you is the same strategy I used to start courting your father.”
Fara tilted her head in confusion but still held her arms over her chest so Lilia couldn’t poke them again. “What the galaxy are you talking about?”
Lila smirked. “It is quite simple my dear. You see, when I was assigned to work under your father it did not take long for me to notice now he stared at me. Basically, it was exactly how Jack stares at you; a look of desire AND passion. I just used that to my advantage to really get his attention.”
Fara gave Lilia a questionable look. “I got a feeling this is something I probably do NOT want to know.”
“Probably not but regardless I am telling you.” Lilia playfully giggled. “Since I knew his desire I was able to use that to catch him off guard. One evening he was working late to complete the assignments for new recruits and I was assisting him. He accidently spilled some juice on his lap and I jumped at the opportunity to help and to get his attention. Next thing we both knew I was sitting in his lap and we were taking about . . . well, casual things with his arms around my waist.”
Fara stared angrily at Lilia. “So you got my father’s attention by acting like a whore.”
“NO, that is it what happened at all, pay attention you tactless lout.” Lilia growled at Fara for the first time she could ever remember and it caught her off guard. “All I did was get your father to reveal how he truly felt about me. We just sat there talking, nothing more for . . . I do not know for how long but it was quite some time. This allowed us to truly begin courting and we kept it professional, not wanting to potentially ruin what we had.”
Fara looked at Lilia in a bit of disbelief. “Somehow I find that VERY hard to believe.”
“I know, your father and I became mates rather quickly, at least that is how it must seem to you after how long it took you and Daniel to become mates. Remind me how long it took you and Daniel to become life mates?”
Fara hung her head and spoke softly. “Two planetary cycles.”
“And that is why I am giving you advice with Jack.” Lilia replied in a sarcastic tone. “With me and your father we really did court each other professional to be careful. BUT, the reason we became life mates so quickly is because that is how passionate and genuine our love for each other was. It did not take us long to confirm that we truly loved each other and both agreed that courting any longer than necessary was a waste of time. Because your father and I hate to waste time that is why it was not long after that I was under you father in his bed conceiving your little brother.”
Fara gagged a little at the thought of her father horizontal with Lilia. That was the last thought she wanted flooding through her mind that evening. She had to mentally kick herself for being caught off guard by Lilia’s statement. Ever since they were in the academy together Lilia had always loved catching her off guard in unusual statements that came out of nowhere. Fara should have expected it but considering Lilia had a talent for throwing them out when people least expected so it was nearly impossible to brace for them.
Fara shook her head and swallowed her vomit. “Galaxy it Lilia, thanks for that image.”
“Oh you are quite welcome Miss Fennix.” Lilia replied as politely and sarcastically as possible that got Fara to chuckle. “Still, do you get what I am trying to advise you to do?”
Fara managed to get the thought of Lilia getting mounted by her father out of her mind only to try and comprehend what she was being advised to do. Not having a romantic mindset made it difficult for her to understand what she was being told. The only time she had been even slightly romantic was after she and Daniel became life mates and that was just them having mind blowing sex. They were freaks in the bedroom and everything else revolved around foreplay or making out. However, Fara knew she simply couldn’t jump into that with Jack, one of them had to initiate it first and neither one was a natural romantic.
“So, what you are saying is that I should try a whore gesture to catches him off guard and gets him to reveal how he truly feels about me?” Fara nervously asked.
Lilia face palmed herself. “You really do not think very highly of me do you?”
Fara crossed her arms under his chest and glared daggers at Lilia. “I thought that was obvious.”
A loud huff of air escaped Lilia’s muzzle as she closed her eyes and stared down at the floor. “You can be so frustrating at times.” Lilia took a deep, calming breath. “Let me explain this as simply as I can.” Lilia slowly looked back up at Fara. “You . . . Simply . . . Need . . . To . . . Get . . . His . . . Attention. A simple flirty moment is all you need to do, and it should be subtle that gets his attention and forces him to reveal how he truly feels about you.”
Fara glared at Lilia for a moment as she tried to process the advice she had just been given. Though she wanted to slap the smirk off of Lilia’s muzzle for speaking to her as if she was a child she finally understood what Lilia was telling her. That was the reason Fara was glad they in a private hangar so no one could overhear them; unless her Starfighter somehow managed to gain sentience. As if the thought of being flirty with Jack wasn’t hard enough for her to deal with she didn’t appreciate the thought of the advice coming from Lilia, or anyone else knowing.
“You do realize you might as well be asking for a sun right?” Fara exclaimed as she looked back up at Lilia. “But, as much hate listening to you I will say that I will at the very least take your advice into consideration.”
“That is all I am asking. But if you do decide to listen . . . and I am certainly not holding my breath . . . just be careful.” Lilia sternly warned. “You could easily mess it up if you are not careful. Subtly is your best friend in getting a man’s attention.”
“Duly noted, Lilia.” Fara calmly responded as she casually smiled. “So, is there anything else you wanted to get off your chest?”
Lilia shook her head with a half-smile. “Nah, I got everything off of my chest I need to say . . .”
“Other than your dress and I am sure my dad is going to be taking that off later.” Fara sarcastically replied, repulsed at the thought.
Lilia playfully giggled. “You have no idea how true that is.”
“And do NOT want to know either.” Fara stated, thoroughly wiping the thought from her memory. “If that is it than can we end this, I got to check on the kids, make sure Jack is not running them?”
“Sure, I got my advice out so I am happy, even though I have my doubts you will act on it.”
“We shall see.” Fara replied as she shook her head. “So, if we are done here can I go rest and you get back to my father’s bed.”
“Of course, as long as we are closer to be friends again.” Lilia exclaimed, giving Fara a genuine sympathetic expression.”
Fara remained quiet for a moment, not sure if she was willing to give Lilia chance but wanted to. “Again, we shall see.”
“Thanks Fara.” Lilia said, as she laid a hand on Fara’s chest. “Take care Fara and be sure to give Jack a moment he will never forget.”
Fara nodded before turning around and walking away while Lilia did the same, heading in the opposite direction. She made it her duty to get away as far as possible and back to her private quarters where Amanda and Felicity were no doubt causing problems for Jack as he babysat them. Though it was nothing he wasn’t used to she didn’t the idea of leaving the three of them alone for too long. That propelled her to move quickly out of her private hangar back to her quarters as quickly as possible, which wasn’t that far of a walk. Unfortunately, it was a long enough to walk for Fara’s mind to race and ponder over Lilia’s words. Though she hadn’t taken anything Lilia had said seriously in quite a while they stuck to her like the strongest glue.
Is Lilia right, do I really have feelings for Jack? Fara thought as she exited the hangar and kept walking at her quick pace. If she is right than what do I do about it?
Every step Fara took reinforced her thought further, making her focus more on Jack and how she felt about it. She realized how much she owed Jack for everything he did and risked for her and Felicity. The amount of debt she had to pay off as astronomical and she knew there was no way she could succeed; at least not any time soon, in a way that didn’t involve mating. For a while Fara thought that was the reason she had feelings for Jack and didn’t act on it. She didn’t want to start anything with him, or make herself seem interested; because she was afraid the feelings didn’t exist beyond owing him resulting in their relationship ending abruptly. Fara had seen it happen before and she didn’t want it to happen with Jack.
However, Lilia had a way of working Fara’s mind causing her to realize that what she felt for Jack was deeper than owing him. She couldn’t explain it but what she felt for Jack rivaled the emotions and love, if she could call it that, she felt when she was life mates with Daniel. The thought process made it hard for Fara to concentrate on her journey home but she had walked it so many times that she could have walked it blindfolded, literally, allowing her to focus on Jack. It upset her to admit that Lilia was probably right and was pondering what she said.
“This is beyond frustrating.” Fara tapped her fingers against her thigh as she turned a corner, coming very close to her quarters. “I cannot believe I am considering taking her advice seriously.” Fara sighed loudly. “Maybe I should at least try with Jack. Though that would certainly I not go over with the rest of my people I am certain I care about their opinion, especially when it comes to Jack.”
Apparently, Fara was so distracted by her train of thought that she almost walked into the door of her quarters. She nearly walked nose first causing her to pause and smirk. It would have hurt like the dickens if she hadn’t stopped, making her glad that she stopped and rub her nose. It took a moment her to regain her composure and reach for the door. She was cautious to open it, almost dreading what was on the other side.
“Even at this hour I would be surprised if anyone is asleep.“′ Fara thought as she gripped the door handle. “Jack is probably going to be furious for leaving him with the troublesome duo for so long.”
Fara pushed the door open louder than she wanted, the loud creaking sound caused by rusty sides as the door opened making her winch. Getting the rust on the door fixed was on the top of her list, when she had the time. Jack had offered to fix it, stating he just needed to get his hands on some kind of spray that she couldn’t remember the name of, but the Zordons didn’t have anything similar to what he needed. Fara was kicking herself for forgetting but it was late and she was tired so she just silently cursed and halted the door. She leaned forward and listened carefully, using her ears to pick up on any sound. Much to her surprise, she didn’t pick up anything beyond snoring that was obviously coming from Jack; she could recognize his snoring anywhere. Thanks to her big ears she could hear the kids sleeping softly in their bedroom.
At least the kids are asleep, for once. Fara thought as she entered the quarters.
Fara slipped off her boots and softly sit them down near the door as she shut it. She placed them right next to Jack’s who had casually sat them down, more like haphazardly tossed them aside. If it wasn’t for her knowing that Jack was certainly worn out after dealing with her people to settle in. She would give him a word or two about it later but at that moment the only thing she was determined to do was lie in bed and go to sleep.
Fara took one step towards the bedroom only to freeze when she heard a loud moan coming from the makeshift couch. Located on the eve of the living room faced away from her, she couldn’t see exactly what was going on. Knowing it was a couch that could transition to a bed, one large enough for two people, and she knew who was lying on it, Jack Grieves who was most likely sound asleep. Since her quarters only had one spare bedroom, and it was occupied by Amanda and a Felicity, he had volunteered to take the makeshift bed and had been using it ever since arriving on the fleet.
Fara walked over to the couch and looked over to see Jack lying there sound asleep, just not peacefully. Being covered in just a light blanket and wearing loose shorts ad shirt he would have slept peacefully if it wasn’t for his constant moaning and groaning. She could see him tossing and turning and flailing his arms around occasionally as if he was having a bad dream. Since Fara knew what he was going on in his head she was certain he would prefer to be having a nightmare. The shocked and pained expressions he gave with each sound that escaped his mouth made that certain and resulted in Fara feeling sorry for him.
“Oh boy, he’s having the torture nightmares again.” Fara softly whispered and she leaned over the edge of the couch. “He is never going to be alright if someone does something about.”
Fara always felt sympathy for Jack whenever she saw him freak out during one of his torture nightmares, ever since she first saw it. Knowing the reasons he had the nightmares her even more sympathetic to him to the point where she couldn’t stand watching it. At least he wasn’t being very vocal but that didn’t make it any easier to watch. She wanted to do something for him and only one thing came to mind, thanks to the conversation she had with Lilia.
“Hm, maybe there is something I can do about it right now.” Fara softly mumbled. “Maybe I will take Lilia’s advice, but he probably will not remember it.”
Fara took a deep breath as she grabbed the sheets and slowly pulled them back as to not disturb Jack. Once there was enough space she carefully sat down and slid over to him. Due to Jack lying on his side, facing away for her, she was glad she didn’t have to look at him for, what she had to do. She gently laid a hand on his shoulder as she laid down next to Jack, pressing her chest firmly against his back. She pressed her body so tight against his back that she was surprised her ample bosom didn’t wake him up. Once she was in place she wrapped her arm around Jack as he squirmed again and pulled him even tightly against her. Her presence against him caused him to stop his frantic movements and speech and appears to return to a peaceful sleep. Fara smiled as he calmed down and buried her furry muzzle into the back of his neck and the two of them rested peacefully.
“Don’t worry Jack, I’m here for you.” Fara softly whispered into Jack’s ear, making him mumble something back but he remained asleep. “After everything you have done for me and Felicity I swear to always be there for you.”