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For Fondued Jicama [Jun. 8th, 2006|03:38 am]
The Great LJ Babylon 5 Ficathon

babficathon

[dsigng4]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

My b5ficathon assignment:
"Request 1: Ivanova/Marcus!!!, friendship/romance. Preferrably not with the word or any synonym of the word 'revive' (trust me, I've read them all =p)."
For: fondued_jicama

Being I know Fondued_Jicama on fanfiction.net and she seems to dig my other M/I works there I thought I'd give her something a little different that would drive most I/M folks insane, and as requested, 'revive' is nowhere in sight. ;) Hope she likes it.




-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
CINDERELLA STORY by DsignG4
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Marcus stood and craned his back to one side and letting out a strangled groan as a couple of vertebrae settled back in to place.

He, Ivanova and Garibaldi had been running over some logistics for an upcoming Whitestar mission and were nowhere close to done when housekeeping had chased them out of the meeting room. He'd be in much worse shape after all these last hours if he'd been sitting on one of those awful torture devices they called chairs there if Susan had not suggested they adjourn to her cabin since she had a decent sized table. It also had significantly more comfortable furniture.

That was 4 hours ago. Garibaldi had just left for the evening and Susan was currently taking an emergency C&C call in her bedroom. Marcus wandered past her shelves waiting for her return to continue their work. He leaned in curiously at the few keepsakes she kept there; a small red pebble, a painted Russian egg, a crystal snowflake sculpture, a few abstract Minbari figurines. A simple, diverse and puzzling collection; like the woman herself.

His eyes settled on a small black frame tucked away in a corner of the top shelf. He smiled, unable to resist picking it up to get a closer look. The young woman with auburn hair clipped into a short bob was maybe all of 17 years old. She beamed proudly, her eyes full of such hope in her new crisp EF cadet uniform. The flag of Earth Force was on her left, which told him this was an academy entrance portrait, as a graduation picture would have the flag on the right. Seeing the academy seal and the year on the flag he found himself leaning into the picture... it was a vaguely familiar face from his past... he knew this face... couldn't be. Could it?

"Yeah yeah, that's me," Susan groaned coming out of the bedroom, flinging her headset for her babcom on the coffee table with a frustrated sigh. "Bad haircut and all. Sorry that took so long. Unscheduled cargo and no place to put it. We should try to wrap this up soon. I have a feeling I will have to go in early tomorrow."

Marcus wasn't paying attention as he looked from the picture to her and back "Io Academy?"

"Yep."

"2247." His voice was more suspicious now as he looked up at her again. "Was your roomate's name... Cathy?"

"Uh, how could you tell that... what the-"

"You could say we've shared the pleasure of each other's company before... At-" he plundered his brain to find the name he was seeking "Jared Hansu's freshmen finals party."

Her jaw fell nearly to the floor, her eyes wide. "That was you!"

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Junior Intelligence Specialist Marcus Cole heard the riotous party noise from down the hall and scowled. It was Friday night, and he would be working all weekend. Again. He had a Minbari religious translation due to his commander this week and his unease with the intricacies of the religious caste dialect were giving him fits.

He'd gotten an invite flyer for the party slipped under his door, seemingly as had everyone in the building, but he had work to do and the noise was not helping him keep his nose to the grindstone.

Despite the war recently drawing to abrupt conclusion with the Minbari cease of hostilities, his time was still consumed with translation of religious caste documents, as much if not more than during the war. What he would've given for a technical manual instead of reading about some allegorical guy named Valen who talked far too much. The only remarkable thing about him seemed to be that he just vanished as mysteriously as he appeared. If only they'd given him something more interesting than volume after volume of religious caste dogma to work on. All religion bored him rotten and he'd been stuck up to his eyebrows in it since he was assigned here.

His barracks over on the base housing were closed a few weeks ago in a cost cutting move after the war ended, and everyone there was reassigned to the now largely empty academy dorms. So many cadets had been sent out into the field to restock ships and perished, that the scant few recruits they had recruited since barely filled the place now. Most of the cadets, like Jared Hansu who was throwing the party around the corner, had a large room designed for 3, 4 or even 6 students all to themselves. Jared tended to use the ample space more than most with repeated parties for any occasion he could dream up. Marcus wondered what month exactly he'd flunk out. But then Jared was a pilot and EF needed pilots far too much to flunk one right now for partying too hard. At least in his old quarters it had been quiet, here he no longer had that.

Marcus's own recent college life had been cut short when he was drafted just weeks before the Minbari inexplicably up and quit the war with little more explanation than it was all a horrid mistake. He would be an engineering student right now if he'd not been drafted into service, but now he lived in a dormitory of a university he was neither allowed or interested in attending. Just his luck if you asked him.

This new building made the differences all too clear in the two kinds of residents. The cadets were all in officer training, hadn't seen any action and were, as he was, not far from still being teenagers. They were getting in line slowly as far as discipline and looking down the road at long careers in military service. The others like himself, the drafted non-coms he arrived with, had already gotten the short course and were forced into that line in a warp speed boot camp, and wanted out ASAP.

Non-coms tended to stay to themselves, not socializing much even with one another. Alternately, the cadets naturally only hung out with each other. Neither made much of an effort to change that.

He looked down the hall towards the boisterous noise... then back to the table where his tedious and boring work sat waiting for him. He turned and walked back through the door and closed it.

Moments later it opened again and he emerged freshly clothed in civvies and locked it behind him, heading down the hall towards the party. He decided he had a few hours to try and forget he was an indentured servant with no future.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

He felt like an old man despite being a scant year or two older than everyone else in the room. They all looked so fresh faced and innocent. He'd seen far too many casualty reports and photos in his short time in his department to be anything but dreary. He nodded politely as he made way through the tightly packed crowd with a watered down beer in hand. He finally found a corner out of the way and he sat on an open chair to watch the party around him. He had never been the most outgoing fellow, but he found he liked to watch life swirl around him even if he never really got to join in.

"Cole, right?" Jared Hansu looked down at him offering his hand.

"Right." Marcus smiled standing and shook it.

"You finally made it to one."

"Thank you for the invite. I really needed this. Good turn out. I see even a few from D-block over here." he said referring to a few of the guys from his old barracks.

"Yeah. Not bad. Had even more last time, but it's end of term, ya'know?"

"Even more? Where in hell did you fit them all?"

"We had a bunch out in the hall. Hey I see we got some new arrivals, I should go say hello. Help yourself to the beer man, I need to get rid of it before housekeeping comes in to clean it for summer. Take care if I don't see ya till next year."

Marcus doubted next year Jared would have such splendid luck in accommodations, and just as likely his living conditions would be going down hill also. He figured they'd reopen the barracks before Fall semester if they didn't just transfer him first. Both of their times here was numbered. He looked over to see him greeting a couple of rather attractive young women. Jared quickly sidled up to the blonde and handed her a beer.

Marcus reached into the bucket and pulled another one from the ice when one of his barrack-mates popped up next to him. "Cole!"

"Hey Prentiss, what's new in planetary defense?"

"If it's still there when I wake up it's a good day. You still in Translation?"

"Don't remind me. They have me working all weekend, but my eyes were losing focus, I had to take some time off."

"So, what do you translate?" piped up a pixieish brunette with clear blue eyes, who was hanging all alone nearby. She had come in with the blonde Jared was now entertaining. "Sorry I didn't mean to eavesdrop." She apologized.

"It's okay, it's not classified or anything." Marcus explained turning around to her. "The Minbari just gave us a ton of their cultural and religious writings so we don't go and start another war. I wish I could say it's more exciting," he said smiling. He saw her hands were empty. "Can I get you a beer?" he motioned to the cooler.

"Sure." She smiled softly then cast a wayward glance over her shoulder. "Might as well. Looks like I'll be here a while. That's my roommate Cathy." She explained with a nod towards at the blonde now kissing Jared.

"Ah." He said dunking his hand back into the icy depths of the bucket. He retrieved a bottle and skillfully rid it of it's cap and handed it to her. "Well she seems friendly." He remarked wiping his hand on his trouser leg and shaking it around to warm it up from the cold plunge.

The girl laughed. "She's okay I guess. She brought me over here to cheer me up."

"And why would you need that?" he smiled gently. "You don't look sad to me."

Her blue eyes turned glassy as if she were going to cry on the spot. He realized how wrong he had been. "Just stressed out from finals." She said recovering. Marcus instantly knew that she was lying, and didn't want to talk about it when she changed the subject. "I like your accent, where are you from? London? I lived there for a while."

"Ah no. Never even been there actually. My colony is mostly made up of a few generations of ex-pats, so the accent kinda stuck around."

Beer after beer disappeared from the cooler till finally the room was filled with little more than a dozen or so people deeply involved in conversations or make out sessions. They were both fairly toasted and in their current state, the in depth discussion about his wanting to get a restored vintage '32 Mitusubishi-Daimler personal flycraft and start travelling along the rim when his stint was up, and how she wanted to live someplace warm, seemed very profound at the time. It was then that Marcus saw the clock.

"Is it really 3am?" he asked her, a yawn now forcing it's way forth with realization of the hour.

"3am? Oh my god. I have one more final tomorrow afternoon! I need some sleep."

He looked over for Jared who'd now disappeared with the girls’ roommate into one of the beds draped for privacy. "Looks like your roommate won't be coming home till later I, uh don't think you should be out there alone at this hour. I'll walk you back. Where is your room?"

"Over in Kofi Annan."

"I'm not too familiar with campus yet. That's just around the corner, isn't it?"

She nodded getting wobbily to her feet. "Yeah, but it's not far at all. I can make it."

"Never know what kind of freaks are out this time of night. Let me make sure you get back okay. Please?" he said offering his hand. She nodded smiling and took it. He lead her out past the random piles of sprawled or writhing couples. She didn't pull her hand free after they left the room, and he didn't drop it. He smiled at her. She blushed back.

The walk was short, but taken at a leisurely pace. Neither seemingly in any hurry despite the lateness of the hour. They finally got to the door of her building and she squeezed his hand. "I'm really glad she dragged me to the party tonight." She said bashfully. He lost himself in her piercing blue eyes.

"Me too." He said, politely releasing her hand. In moment of boldness he hadn't expected out of this rather shy creature, she leaned forward and kissed him. She pulled away smiling. "See you later," she said touching her fingers to her lips with a shy blush.

"You bet. Goodnight." he winked at her

It wasn't till the door shut behind her and she ran up the stairs with a smile back at him, that he realized he never got her name. He cursed. The door was locked. When he knocked no one came. He let his head fall against it in disgust. On his way back he reminded himself that she lived nearly next door. How hard could she be to find?

Tomorrow came, and went. Soon it had been a week and he'd not managed to locate her. Once he had even tripped over his own feet twice in searching the faces of the cadets in the Quad while on his way to catch the shuttle to the base. He didn't have access to academy records in his job and he had little spare time, but he had tried to find her in the public records with no luck. To top it all off, no one seemed to be able to place the pixyish brunette with blue eyes. Even Jared who seemed to know everyone had never seen her before the party, and barely knew her roommates name despite rutting with her for presumably hours. It seemed cadets and non-coms were truly not destined to mingle.

The next week Marcus and his entire division were, as the scuttlebutt had hinted, transferred to Mars to work with the translation division there. He watched Io grow smaller in the transport window and sighed. His chance to find the sad girl with the sapphire eyes was gone.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Susan raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms. "You never even called, typical." She teased, tossing her long locks over her shoulder.

"You never told me your name, " he informed her. "I tried to find you again - but I got reassigned to Mars the next week, made it rather impossible after that."

"Oh." Susan frowned. "Well then... allow me," She took a step forward and offered her hand: wrist up, palm down like a regal princess. "Susan Ivanova." She introduced herself haughtily.

"Very funny." He cracked then bent a bit at the waist and guided her hand towards his lips as if he were going to kiss it. "Pleased to meet you." he beamed back playfully capturing her eyes with his. "Again."

She did a little curtsey in jest, pulling back her hand. "Well, okay, we should finish this, one of us has work in the morning." She groaned snapping out of character.

Marcus didn't move, and he ignored her jab that he didn't work. "Hold on. If I had found you, back then, and asked you out like I wanted to, what would your answer have been?"

"That was a long time ago..." she bristled a bit turning to go back to the table. "And I didn't know you like I do now."

"Come on, I'm just curious," he pressed her. "You can tell me."

She sighed loudly stopping in her tracks and turned back to him, looking him dead in the eye. "I would have said yes, if you must know."

"Really," he breathed, his mouth stretching into a cheshire cat-like smile as he in one smooth motion stepped entirely too close to her. "Well, I found you, didn't I? What's your answer now?"

Susan Ivanova's lips curled upwards.


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The end
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: deiann
2006-06-08 05:01 pm (UTC)
Haven't read any B5 fics in ages, but this was lovely! :D Thanks! :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dsigng4
2006-06-08 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: moonvoyager
2006-08-29 01:43 am (UTC)
Awesome! This really fit the characters; it seems entirely plausible for them (and so realistically imagined). You captured Marcus's voice perfectly. And I really like how you managed to slip this into the canon. Thanks!
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