|FIC: What Seems Still (Marcus/Ivanova)
||[Jun. 25th, 2006|12:06 pm]
The Great LJ Babylon 5 Ficathon
Thanks to leyenn for organizing this! I was assigned the_geeky_one who, among other things, requested Marcus/Ivanova in a non-trite romantic fic. |
Title: What Seems Still
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Each orbit moves slightly, each moved.
Notes: S3, no spoilers
Marcus makes a point of locating Commander Ivanova every morning, if only to say hello.
He is not so obvious or stupid as to wait in front of her quarters. Her exasperated impressions aside, he does have other things to do in the morning. Hovering at a lady's doorstep is not one of them.
When she isn't on active duty--and he would never interrupt her while she was in command--Marcus usually comes across her in the zocalo. She's never eating breakfast at the time, as he's certain she does that long before Earth's dawn.
Often, he finds her stalking around the merchants' stalls, her demeanor just short of inspection. He steps in front of her, draws her attention.
She halts, scowls, and he waits for it to pass. When her frown has finally faded, he nods and wishes her a good day.
If Ivanova is on duty, he doesn't try to see her in person. Instead, he contacts her over comms, asks if there's any task in which he might be of service.
Thank you, Marcus, she replies, but we can handle it.
"Of course," he concedes. "But if you need me."
No, thank you. But her voice is light, and he likes to think she's smiling.
There are many things he does not understand about diplomacy, and he initially thought the same of her.
When he has opportunity to observe her, however, he finds himself examining his initial perceptions.
Ivanova is brash, yes, but she is also fair. While she walks through the zocalo, he sees her pulled aside by to settle disputes. Property borders, price gouging, shoplifting. Each time, nothing for which she is, technically, responsible. Each time, she smiles tightly, looks at the time, and then lends her judgment.
Once, he happens to be within arms' reach when she's pulled aside. There's a man, young and obviously new to the station. He's holding a child by the hand, and he's nervous.
"Excuse me," the man says, catching Ivanova with his plea. "My daughter needs to use the facilities, and I keep taking wrong turns. Could you--" The girl tugs on the man's hand, cutting of his request.
Ivanova looks around, eyebrows drawn together. Marcus knows what she's thinking--the adjacent restrooms, though relatively safe, aren't a nice place for little girls to visit. There are better facilities on another level, but the quickest way there is also complicated.
It's almost time for shift changes, and Ivanova looks at the overhead clocks, torn. The girl tugs on her father's hand again, a whine escaping from her throat.
"Sir," Ivanova says, "why don't I--"
"--let me show you the way?" Marcus steps forward, sketches a bow and smiles. "I'd be happy to assist."
Ivanova catches her breath, only barely audible, then nods. "Marcus can escort you to a suitable place."
"Thank you," the man says, and picks up his daughter.
Ivanova, as she passes, puts a hand on Marcus's elbow. "Thank you," she whispers.
"A pleasure," he replies, then turns his attention to the task at hand.
Food is a weakness of his. Rather, one of his temptations. He wonders about hers.
Though she occasionally disappears during the lunch hour, often for her own duties, she can most often be found at the same cafe.
If she's with Stephen or Sheridan, or some of the others he could almost call friends, he'll slide into a chair across from her. If she's alone, he'll gather his meal. He'll stand a few feet away and wait, until she grows exasperated and tells him to sit the hell down.
Though he's spent much of his life on stations, ships, and Minbar, Marcus is fascinated by the variety of foods a human being can consume, or at least tolerate. Each lunch, he tries something new, and Ivanova pauses in her consumption to watch him, amused.
Results so far have been good, or at least not life-threatening. There is a certain spice from Narn which makes him turn a shade of purple (or so she says), and vegetable matter from outer plants is always a questionable matter for his tongue.
Ivanova does not experiment as much. When Marcus asks why, she waves idly. "I went through all that a few years ago," she explains. "I've figured out what works for me."
"Ah," Marcus says, because he's stifling further curiosity. He takes a sip of his coffee. "This is good," he remarks.
Ivanova reaches across the table, lifts his mug to her nose. He wonders, for a moment, if she'll take a sip, but she only sets it down after a sniff.
"That," she responds, "is a weak and tasteless imitation."
Marcus tastes his coffee again. "Is it?"
"Oh, Marcus," she groans. "I'll make you real coffee sometime."
He grins. "I'll hold you to that."
She looks away, but doesn't renege.
Though he has no official duties, no schedule to maintain, Marcus does follow a pattern throughout the day.
After he wakes, a call to Delenn's quarters, in case any emergencies have cropped up. A stroll through the zocalo in the morning, refamiliarizing himself with faces, personalities. A noon meal, with friendly company. Meditation after his meal, then training. Afterwards, he tours the maintenance and docking bays, the observation domes, the communications grid. If there's anything of note, he reports it to his superiors. If he's lucky, there's nothing to flag warning, but those days are rare.
When most humans are finishing their evening meal, he wanders through the recreation facilities, and there he finds Ivanova.
Her hair is still tied back, but a few strands have escaped, trailing over her forehead and cheeks. She looks tired, and she looks relieved. She looks beautiful, as she does in any other moment.
Marcus bids her a good evening, and the corridor is almost empty. Her lips curve into a smile, and for a long moment, he thinks what if.
Ivanova clears her throat, and it wakes him. Marcus nods. "Well, I suppose I should be--"
"Of course," she says. He moves past her, and she catches his elbow, stops him. "Be careful, Marcus."
"I'm safe as houses," he tells her. "Don't worry about me."
Ivanova rolls her eyes. "I don't," she says, but she squeezes his arm before she walks by.
And then it's night, and he returns to his pattern, taking a transport into downbelow.
A/N: Title and summary adapted from Marcella Durand's Unusual Gravitation. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.
Crossposted to my fic LJ.