M i n d w a l k e r s T S R o u n d R o b i n # 2

(part 1: Metis)

Ivanova put on her best diplomatic smile and weaved her trim, dress uniformed figure easily through the crowd of partying ambassadorial dignitaries for the food table. She could hear Capt. Sheridan's pleasantly booming voice on one side and G'kar's melodious tones sending a sharp barb Londo Mollari's way. The evening was early, so she hoped nothing would go wrong yet--but one never knew on Babylon 5. So long as she could get herself a plate of eats and something stronger than champagne to drink first, she'll be fine for whatever came next.

Then she bumped hard into someone--spilling the contents of her champagne glass all over the other person and her own uniform front.

"I'm sorry--" came the words to Ivanova's mouth as she looked up--

(part 2: Lizzy)

"I'm sorry--" came the words to Ivanova's mouth as she looked up to see the somewhat stunned face of Ambassador G’Kar’s diplomatic attege, Na’Toth.

Na’Toth fixed Susan with a cold red eye and straightened up, brushing pointedly at her soaked robe. Ivanova was horrified. One didn’t go round throwing food at ambassadors, well, certainly not at official gatherings.

“I’m… I didn’t mean to…” she gabbled, dabbing ineffectively in Na’Toth’s direction. The tall Narn seized Ivanova’s hands and returned them firmly to her sides.
“I will attend to my own person, thank you, Commander,” she replied in icy tones.

“Right, ah, of course…”

“We will attend to ourselves, just as we did when the Centauri dogs invaded our world," Na’Toth interrupted, her voice growing louder to carry to the crowd of interested spectators which had gathered. "We have no need for human,” she sneered at Ivanova, “interference.”

Ivanova bristled. “Now wait just a minute!” The two moved closer to each other, glaring furiously. It seemed that a fight was inevitable . . .

(part 3: Xavier)

Captain Sheridan cheerfully chatting up varios Ambassadors like a good diplomat. The Conversation was starting to get animate when he heard Na'Toth's deep voice rumbled above the dim noise of the crowd.

"We have no need for human interference."

He quickly turned in the direction of the voice and hastily excused himself from the group of Ambassadors that he had been chatting up. He was hoping that whatever it was, wasn't going to ruin the whole reception. It had been difficult enough to get all these aliens in the same room without some drunk trying to get a rise out of them.

"Excuse me." He said and bobbing his head in a blur as he made his way, hoping that he could smooth out the situation before anyone started to throw punches. At the same time, he was looking for the security cheif, Michael Garibaldi.

He tapped on the link at the back of his hand and spoke into it. "Garibaldi."

'Garibaldi here,' came the reply.

"Where are you Cheif?"

'I'm at the entrance here with Ms. Winters. What's up, captain?'

(part 4: Jayne)

"We may have a situation about to break out here," Sheridan informed the Chief.

"Damn," he said. Knowing it was going to be one of those nights. He looked to Talia *why me? why now?* he thought to himself..so desperate to talk to the woman beside him, maybe even arrange a dinner date.

"What was that Mr Garibaldi," The captain asked.

"Nothing Captain, I'll be right there."

Garibaldi apolagized to Talia, "Sorry about this but duty calls," he said as he rushed towards the scene. Talia looked on and slowly began to follow, wanting to know what all the noise was.

Then she heard a familiar voice in the crowd, one that made her heart beat faster. And a very upset Narn. Talia continued to walk closer until she was in earshot of the whole conversation. She noticed Susan look at her....

(part 5: Metis )

Talia continued to walk closer until she was in earshot of the whole conversation. She noticed Susan look at her....

and inadvertently tripped over Kosh's encounter suit robes, sending the contents of her champagne glass sailing through the air.

*OH NO!* she thought frantically as she watched the bubbly liquid land right on---

(part 6: CalR)

The droplets of the bubbly acohol described a graceful arch, glinting under the light like as many jewels, laws of gravity took their rights again. The liquid fell, managing to splash as many people as possible.

Ambassador Delenn who was trying to calm the heating spirits looked at the new stains on her robe, incredulous. Na'thot red eyes were glinting murderously sending daggers to the mortified telepath. But the worse was Commander Ivanova,her face was very pale as a droplets of champaign were running along her face and neck, a small vein began pulsing at her temple. To Talia Winters, the temperature of the room fell by several degrees as the commender glared at her.

An astounding silence fell upon the room...

(part 7: Jayne)

The Commander's eyes were like fire glaring at the poor disheartened telepath. Delenn was wiping sticky liquid from her robes and the Narn was positively fuming!
*How could i be so stupid* Talia thought to herself, as her face turned a shade of pink. And before Ivanova could speak, Talia had turned away embarrased and ran through the crowd of onlookers and towards the door. Garibaldi looked on and had to stop himself from running after a very upset Talia, and tried to calm things down when Ivanova ran past him neally knocking him over.....heading straight in the direction of a tearful talia...
 

(part 8: Xavier)

The Commander pushed various aliens out of her way, trying to keep the very upset telepath in her line of sight. She didn't care that she had just ran into the Centuari Ambassador, Londo Mollari.

"Whare are you going, Commander!!!"

Even this early in the celebration, Londo was already drunk and he could barely get his words out before Ivanova pushed passed him.

"Ms. Winters!" She shouted. "Talia, wait!!"

The telepath could hear her, of course, but she had no intention of stopping. She had embarrassed herself in front of the whole crowd, and worse of all, in front of Commander Susan Ivanova.. She did not know how would she ever going to live through this...

(part 9: Metis)

All Susan had wanted was a plate of food to eat, for crying out loud. Though she had just barely been saved from duking it out with a very tall, irate, Narn female warrior, right now she would gladly trade in having to chase a very upset, beautiful telepath for facing an angry Na'toth instead.

What a crummy evening this is turning out to be! Susan griped to herself.

Therefore, she did not notice the several pairs of shadowed eyes watching the ball room entrance from their hiding places. The focused, hard eyes belonged to Earth First! terrorists, who had intended to subdue Garibaldi's security force and take the entire ball room and its V.I.P.s hostage. Now they watched as first, a very attractive blonde woman hurriedly exited, then an EarthForce officer.

They knew that they definitely didn't want the officer leaving the party.

So they grabbed Ivanova.

(part 10: Lizzy)

Talia, walking quickly to her quarters, was stopped in her tracks by a stifled shriek behind her, followed by an enraged roar. She turned to see Commander Ivanova struggling in the grip of a tall hefty man. She succeeded in biting him quite effectively on the arm, but he adjusted his grip, one arm across her neck and the other holding a PPG at her temple.

“Okay, that’s enough,” he told her quietly. She became still, but her eyes seemed to yell at Talia, to get out, any way she could. But it was too late. Two more terrorists had already seized the blonde telepath and they brought her to stand near the Commander.

“Leaving already?” one of them sneered. “I’m afraid we can’t allow that.”

And the terrorists forced Talia and a very angry Ivanova back into the crowded room, firing shots into the air to get everyone's attention. The room became very quiet.

(part 11: Xavier)

Ivanova stared dagger at one of them as they shoved her backward into one of the corners. Then they tossed the much lighter telepath toward her. The Commander quickly catch her before she trip over anything and fall.

"Are you all right?" She asked, her voice a mere whisper.

"Yes," Talia said.

Ivanova gave her a small nod and then started to take in her surrounding, her bright blue eyes swept the room and take stock of where everyone was.

In the other corner with another group of Ambassador, were Sheridan and Garibaldi. They were looking at each other, trying to figure out who these people that hold them hostage were.

"Captain?"

"We need a plan, chief." Sheridan whispered, keeping his voice just loud enough for the security chief to hear.

(part 12: Metis)

"Greetings, everyone!" came the distinctly British tones of the lead terrorist, a handsome man with silver hair and a terribly insincere smile. "We are Earth First!, and we intend to send a message to our home world that we believe interacting with *other* alien species is not in Earth's best interest. We don't intend to *harm* anyone, especially if you cooperate. So please relax while we secure the area."

As the man's pleasant attitude immediately turned cold, his men fanned out and began disarming security.

"Commander!" came the whisper husky and low into Ivanova's ear. "That man is lying--I felt his thoughts when his men grabbed us. They intend to start killing ambassadors as soon as they open a channel to Earth!"

Ivanova squeezed the telepath's hand in acknowledgement and assessed the situation in the ball room. The terrorists had already grabbed Garibaldi. Capt. Sheridan, whose broad face was firm but angry, began engaging the lead terrorist in a loud display of words. Delenn appeared to be communicating silently with Lennier, who had moved protectively to her side, while Londo was having his own private, silent conversation of raised eyebrows at his assistant, Vir, who kept shaking his fan-haired head. The stately and proud Narns, G'Kar and Na'toth, merely stood patiently as the terrorists frisked them--perhaps too patiently, Ivanova observed. Kosh of course, was as inanimate as a giant soap dispenser in his giant encounter suit.

This has all the makings of a war! Ivanova thought worriedly.

Then she looked up and saw the ball room's immense chandelier, under which the lead terrorist now stood under.

(part 13: CalR)

If only it could fall upon him... nah. She shook her head at her wistful thought. They weren't in a video show. They were in reality, and things like that didn't happen in reality.

She knew that sooner or later, the station's security will act. And the terrorist must have had inside help to realise this coup de force. A traitor in security would be able to stop any action took by rescuers.

If only Ivanova could know the name of the traitor...

« Miss Winters, » she whispered. « Listen I need your help... »

« No! » said the telepath once Ivanova finished explaining.

« Hey! In case you haven't noticed, we're in a desperate case. We need information now. If we don't stop these men, the situation will explode soon! »

« I 'm sorry. But I can't scan an unwilling subject, terrorist or not terrorist. »

« You had sensed their thoughts earlier! » growled the commander, grinding her teeth. *Since when Psy Corps has any sense of ethic? *

«From such a short distance I can't block strong thoughts, that's why I knew that he was lying... » she interrupted herself when one of their guard looked sharply at her. « But I can't scan deeply without his autorisation! »

« Okay, so may be I can go and ask him his autorization. » she whispered, sarcasm dripping of her voice despite the muted tones. «Damn! Do it, Talia! Your Bester does that all the time! »

« I'm saddened by your opinion of me, commander. But please, don't ask that from me. I can't.» There was an ounce of desperation in the telepath's eyes.

« Listen, you... »

« Quiet!! » one of the terrorist kicked Ivanova's side, hard. The commander clenched her jaws in order not to give them the satisfaction of hearing her pain.

« Comm.... Susan! Are you all right? »

« Let me alone! You're good at nothing! »

Talia's grey blue eyes flashed anger and hurt at the rejection.

The immense chandelier in the middle of the room began to tremble...

(part 14: Jayne)

The chandlier started to shake more violently, all the room stood silent staring up at the ceiling, as they watched it fall, crashing straight onto the lead terrorists head!

Ivanova turned to look at Talia who was now rubbing her temples. "Talia are you okay?"
"That took all that I had, I think I'm going to..." and with that she fainted! Ivanova quickly grabbed her before she fell to the floor and held her, "Talia" she whispered over and over trying to get her to wake up.

Meanwhile, Sheridan, the big bold Captain, had made a move, followed by Garibaldi, diving in and grabbing a couple of the terrorists into arm locks as they looked on at their leader. The leader was flattened rather nicely by the chandlier and was going nowhere. Then another terrorist walked out of the shadows, they hadnt seen her, she stepped out and fired shots into the air, screaming "Earth First"!. She aimed her rifle at Ambassador Delenn. "DIE!", the lunatic screamed.

(part 15: Xavier)

Delenn stood still and everything seemed to be in the slow motion, she saw the human female aimed the rifle right at her chest, from the corner of her eye she could see Captain Sheridan screamed for her to duck while he made a run for the woman. His voice and other voices echoed oddly in her ear.

"Delenn!"

Lennier who had been shoved in the same corner as his mentor watched in torror as the rifle was aimed in her direction. It was his duty to protect her, so he did something that he could only think of at the moment.

He jumped right in front of her as the rifle was fired.

Ivanova, who was still holding the still body of the telepath, turned to look when she heard the loud scream and the rifle being fired. She could only hold the telepath tighter as Captain Sheridan and Garibaldi tackled the woman, the terrorist that was dressed in security uniform. Garibaldi had the rifle while the captain suppressed her.

"Lennier!!"

The Minbari Ambassador cried out, she dropped on her knees to her fallen aid.

(part 16: Metis)

...med-lab was bedlam, even though the injury count from the fiasco that had been the ambassadorial party was low. Ivanova hurried through the med-lab doors as soon as it looked like Capt. Sheridan didn't need her. Poor John, Susan couldn't help thinking as she remembered the pale face of her superior officer as he told everyone at the party to go back to their quarters. It was possible that he had one of the biggest scares of his life, nearly seeing Delenn get shot.

Ivanova scanned the med-lab quickly, looking for one patient in particular. Dr. Franklin was behind the glass of the operating room, trying to save the life of Lennier as Delenn looked on worriedly. The head terrorist, some of his people, and some of Garibaldi's security lay in most of the patient beds. Before the commander could voice her question, Dr. Lillian Hobbs looked up briefly and merely pointed in the direction of one bed.

As Ivanova moved to the familiar form within that bed, she wondered only briefly how Dr. Hobbs knew who she was looking for.

"She came to and was experiencing alot of head pain, so i gave her a pain-killer for the headaches. She's just sleeping now," Ivanova heard the doctor say casually.

Susan looked worriedly into the sleeping telepath's features. For the party, Talia had worn her blonde hair up, the silky strands now loose and in disarray about her face.

"Head pain--why?" Susan asked as she pulled the pins out of Talia's hair, smoothing the fair locks out. She didn't see Dr. Hobb's shrug.

"Ms. Winters is a close-proximity telepath, hardly a high rating," came the doctor's accented tones. "I've had to treat her for such headaches in the past when she pushed her abilities too hard."

"She works too hard--so do you," Lillian Hobbs decided to add, and before Ivanova could turn around to give her a patented glare, the doctor got up from her desk and left to look in at another patient's bed.

Susan returned her attention to the sleeping telepath resting in the bed and picked up her hand. Someone had been considerate enough to remove her gloves. She mused on what had happened in the ballroom, of what the telepath had stammered out before collapsing.

Dark eyebrows knitting pensively over her bright, blue eyes, the commander sat deep in thought and absentmindly stroked the telepath's hand.....

(part 17: Jayne)

..and as she stroked the soft hand of Talia Winters, those 4 sweet words played a happy tune in Ivanova's head.."I love you Susan." She smiled to herself, feeling ten feet tall and at peace with the universe finally.

Then Susan Ivanova came over all giddy, "What if...what if... she said, I loathe you Susan!!"

Ivanova let go of the telepaths hand abruptly and sat back in her chair, her head starting to pound, "Doc, DOC!, i need a pain reliever!" she called out.

And just at that moment, the small disturbance, and the loss of Susan's touch awoke the sleeping telepath.....

(part 18: Xavier)

Talia felt someone close to her, holding her hands... and for a moment she thought it was the woman she had been dreaming of. 'I love you, Susan,' echoing in her mind, over and over again.

She also felt a warm feeling floated through her. She liked this, and did not want it to end. Then suddenly the strong hand that held hers pulled away.

'I loathe you, Susan,' entered her head.

'No, that's not right...' she thought as she came to.

"Doc! I need a pain reliever!" Ivanova called out loudly. Both her hands were at her temple, pressing in efford to stop the pain that made a sudden visit.

"Commander?" Dr. Hobbe entered the room quickly, a pain killer in hand. "Ms. Winters?" She noticed the awaken telepath immediately.

It didn't register at first, but Ivanova soon realized that the telepath was awake and the throbbing pain in her head seemed to disappeared for a moment.

(part 19: Metis)

head no longer inexplicably pounding as it was before, Ivanova refused the pain killer Dr. Hobbes tried to make her take, much to the doctor's frustration. So instead, Dr. Hobbes turned to Talia and gave her the third degree.

"And how are you feeling?"

"Better. Thank you--"

"And how have your sleep habits been?"

"Fine--"

"And the work schedule?"

"Oh the usual--"

"And had you been drinking before your collapse?"

"Well, just a little--"

Susan remained as quiet as possible as she felt Talia's gray-blue eyes constantly sliding to her direction as she answered the doctor's questions. The light lines of pain were still etched in the telepath's face, but otherwise, the blonde woman seemed in such good spirits for some reason...

Ivanova felt terribly out of place, now realizing that she had no really good excuse for being by the telepath's bedside. The commander had always made it clear in the past that she couldn't stand the woman.

Sitting in her chair as stiff as a soldier at a formal function, Susan raised a self-conscious hand to smooth out the dark hair of her braid. She ran a finger along the tight collar of her dress tunic. She then took another moment to run both hands quickly down her waist to straighten the wool fabric out. She had no idea that the nervous gesture just emphasized the trim, attractive lines of her body.

*Is there something on my face??* Ivanova wondered wildly, unnerved at the telepath's constant return of her eyes to her, even though the commander herself was trying to remain as cool and collected as possible.

Then, Ivanova's tummy took that moment to growl--loudly.

(part 20: Xavier)

Two other women in the same room turned to look sharply at the Commmander who, at the moment looked thoroughly embarrass and was about to dig herself a hole and hide, if she could.

"Commander." Dr. Hobbes frowned. "I think that it is time for you to get a good meal and some rest."

Talia was feeling a little relieved and thankful for Ivanova who saved her from the interrogation that the doctor submitted her into. Then she wondered why the Commander was beside her bed.

"Commander?" Talia started, at the moment seeing the doctor's point as she took in the features of the woman. Ivanova looked tired like she hadn't been sleeping for weeks.

"Fine... If you would give me a moment alone with Ms. Winters I will get myself a meal and a good night sleep." Ivanova said finally.

Dr. Hobbes seemed to satisfy with that and left the room, leaving the two women alone together.

(part 21: Jayne)

Ivanova turned towards the telepath and for a moment waa stunned into silence by those eyes.

SILENT PAUSE......

"Talia, you said something to me before you passed out," she stopped.

Talia urged her to continue, a slight smile appearing on her beautiul but tired face.

"Yes?"

"Well," the Commander started to say, and for once she felt shy, "You told me you loved me."

"Yes," was all Talia said with a smile.

Ivanova stared at her and suddennly Talia began to laugh, "Whats so funny?" Ivanova enquired.

"Your face," Talia said trying to stop from laughing, it hurt her head.

Ivanova was both puzzled and amused by the telepath in the bed beside her....and she couldnt help but laugh with her.

(part 22: Metis)

Ivanova's laughter faded to a soft chuckle as she ruefully thought of the past and now this present revelation. This changed everything. In a sense, it was time to 'fess up about her feelings for the telepath as well, reluctant and much in denial of them as she had been.

"Of all the times to say such a thing--especially when a chandelier falls on some wacko's head," Susan commented with a grin.

"Well...." was all Talia replied. The smile had faded from her face at the mention of the chandelier. Susan was sharp--and quite curious; she hoped the commander would not pursue exactly what had happened at the ballroom. The telepath was also beginning to feel nervous. She really didn't know how Susan felt for her, despite her own declaration of love. Talia slowly scooted herself up and swung her legs over the bedside, intending to get up. She stopped a moment, realizing she had no shoes on.

"I...." she heard the commander say, as Ivanova helpfully found the telepath's shoes for her. The dark-haired woman then knelt down, slipping them on Talia's feet. "I can be a really stubborn person, but even a person like me can realize a few things. John had such a look on his face tonight, when he thought he might lose Delenn...."

Ivanova looked up, rising to her feet and meeting Talia's warm eyes. The telepath realized now where the commander was heading with this.

"There's Capt. Sheridan now, " Talia said softly with a smile, indicating with her chin. Ivanova took only a moment to glance over her shoulder through the glass partition of the med room to see Sheridan standing by Delenn's side, as they silently watched Dr. Franklin operate on Lennier. Susan returned her attention to the telepath.

"I would like to start over, " Ivanova stated quickly, like someone issuing an order in C &C. "And first order of business is to....." She took Talia's hands as the telepath rose from the bedside, avidly watching her eyes. ".....reciprocate your feelings for me."

"Indeed," Talia said slowly, loving the wide grin that now graced the commander's mouth. She watched as that same mouth now leaned in closer to hers, close enough to feel Susan's soft breath on her own lips....

Then the telepath jerked away from Susan's face in wide-eyed horror, staring wildly at a point beyond the commander's shoulder.

*What the hell!!--* Susan thought, as Talia's hands dug into her own. Immediately, through the bare contact of their hands, Susan saw before her own mind's eye what Talia was seeing, right over her own shoulder....

The head terrorist, sitting up in bed as he coldly regarded Sheridan and Delenn from behind with smug, hooded eyes. His malevolent thoughts were so strong they radiated across the room.

"Green 7, " Talia whispered automatically in a daze. "Brown 4, docking bay 13--"

And suddenly the sound of an explosion ripped through the med-lab, the ripple effect throwing people off their feet as the power flickered on and off.

Ivanova knew that it was a bomb that had gone off in Red 5.

(part 23: MstryWrite)

The power came back and the lights came back on. Susan gasped in horror at the sight of the beautyful telepath lying on the floor with blood all over her face from falling and hitting her head on the medlab bed.

Susan tore off her tunic and riped the left sleave of her shirt off. She used the cloth to stop the bleeding from the gash on Talia's head. Then she screamed for a doctor to help her new love.

Franklin came running over and patched up the wound on the blond telepath's head with a bandage. Susan asked him if she would be alright. He said that she would but that she would need to be looked after for the next 48 hours to make sure that she didn't have any signs of a concussion. Susan told him she would take her back to her quarters for rest and observation.

Susan escorted Talia towards the door of medlab when Capt. Sheridan came up to her. "Susan, I am going to need to see you in the confrence room in an hour to access this situaion." Susan looked at him and said: "Sir, I'll be there when I get Ms. Winters settled in my quarters."

(part 24: Xavier)

Eventhough he was also a little shook up with the insident, he still had enough present of mind to be amazed at what he had just heard from his second in command. Ivanova had been anything but friendly with the telepath since the moment she stepped on board this station, true he had not been here then, but he had heard enough about it. And he also knew that before now, the Commander had not changed her attitude toward her.

He wasn't sure what it was that he had missed in the past few hours, but he was sure it was one hell of a big piece of puzzle.

Right now, however, he did not have the time to make a query.

Turning back to the Minbari Ambassador, he went to take the place of vigil beside her.

Walking down the corridor, Ivanova kept a close eye on the woman beside her. Talia looked worse for wear, she was still in her dress from the party, but the beautiful dress was now nothing more than a torn rag. Dried blood marred her blond hair and beautiful face.

She kept a hand at her elbow, making sure that she would not stumble, and also to remind herself that it was all real.

The Commander herself was not better off, her uniform was all dirty with dried blood and grime, one of her arms was bare for she had torn out the sleeve for the telepath's wound. Her hair came loose in places and her head was pounding.

"I hope you don't mind that I just..." She started.

"No I don't mind, Susan." The telepath smiled at her.

Even in the disarray stage, the telepath still managed to look beautiful.

(part 25: MystryWrite)

Susan couldn't believe how great Talia looked even after all she had been through that night.

When they got to Ivanova's quarters, Susan took Talia right to her bedroom. She took out a pair of pajamas and gave them to the blond telepath and told her she could cleanup and change in the bathroom.

As Talia was cleaning herself up Susan went to the kitchen and made Talia a nice soothing cup tea.

Talia came out and sat down on the bed. Susan came in and handed her the tea. "If you'll excuse me for a moment Talia, I have to change into a fresh uniform. Please make yourself comfortable." Talia watched Susan grab a uniform out of her closet and go into the bathroom. She thought of how brave and lovely Ivanova was. Susan came out a few minutes later dressed perfectly in her uniform.

"Susan, I want to thank you for your kindness to me during this difficult time. I also wanted to tell you that I meant what I said back there in the ballroom before I passed out. I do love you Susan Ivanova and I think you feel the same way too."

Ivanova sat down on the bed next to Talia. "I am glad to have helped you out and there is no need to thank me. And as much as I don't want to admit it to myself. I think I am falling for you."

With that admission Talia reached up and kissed Susan on the lips.

(part 26: Jayne)

Ivanova sat down on the bed next to Talia. "I am glad to have helped you out and there is no need to thank me. And as much as I don't want to admit it to myself. I think I am falling for you....", she paused, "In a very big way," she added with a grin.

Talia gently stroked Susan's face and looked into her gorgeous deep blue eyes. She couldnt hold back she had to do it, she moved closer and kissed Susan Ivanova right on the lips..and Susan couldnt help but return the kiss. They slowly parted.

"You best get back to work," Talia whispered softly, "I will still be here when you get back."

"Your right, I should have been at the meeting ten minutes ago, the Captain will be pleased!"

Susan said as she let go of the hand she was holding in her own and stood. "Oh and one more thing, get some rest."

"Yes Commander!" The telepath said playfully.

Ivanova was happy to see Talia was feeling much better, she smiled, turned and departed her quarters. *Back to the madness I call home* she thought to herself as she walked down the corridor.

(part 27: Metis)

As she neared the meeting room, Garibaldi hurriedly running up, still in his dress uniform, Ivanova's stomach chose to growl loudly.

*Dammit!!* Ivanova groused. If bombs weren't going off around the station, she could be having a very satisfying dinner with Talia. She took a moment to access Eclipse Cafe through her link and order delivery to her quarters...

(part 28: Velvet)

As Susan entered the meeting room, Sheridan and Franklin were already seated and looking at her.

"What took you so long?" Sheridan regarded her with a stern gaze.

"Sorry." Susan mumbled and took her seat at the conference table. *he´s pissed off, no wonder, I would react the same way when some freaking bastard brought chaos over the station and tried to kill my girlfriend .. oh I better get back soon to my quarters* She smiled in anticipation of the things that will happen later in her quarters.

Garibaldi, who had taken a seat too in the meantime, replayed the details once again and soon the small group were discussing further plans.

All the while Susans eyes drifted towards the back of her hand to grasp a glimpse of the clock that was embed into the comlink. *this takes too long .. by the time I will come back to my quarters the dinner is served and eaten and Talia went to bed*

She started to be frustrated but the luck was on Susan´s site. The meeting was over after 20 minutes and she hurried towards her quarters.

(part 29: Xavier)

Ivanova rushed toward her quarters as soon as the meeting was over, leaving the curious Garibaldi and Sheridan behind. The two looked at each other and then at the disappearing back of the Commander.

"Do you know what that was about?"

"I have no idea..." Sheridan shrugged.

As she approached her own quarters Ivanova suddenly felt very nervous. She knew how she felt about the telepath and it came even more surprise to her that Talia felt that same way, especially after all that she had done to mislead her. Took a deep breath and entered her cabin.

All the lights inside were off, the telepath was still sleeping in her bed.

"Computer lights 70%."

The computer gave out an acknowledgement with the female voice and Ivanova took her jacket off and rolled up her sleeves, wondering where was the food she ordered before the meeting. Just then the door chime sounded.

"Yes," she said and the door slid open.

"Delivery for Commander Ivanova."

Susan grabbed her credit chit and gave it to him as she took the packages from him and set them on the counter top.

"Thank you, enjoy your dinner." The deliver boy said with practice ease and handed the credit chit back to her.

"Smells good."

The COmmander turned to look and there she was. Talia was standing at the door way to her bedroom. She felt her breath caught in her chest saw her standing there.

Talia was in the stage of disarrayed, and even then she was lovely beyond word.

"I..." Ivanova stammered. "I didn't know you were awake."

"I woke up just now." Talia said to her smiling.

"Oh, then if you want to wash up, dinner will be ready in a few min."

She watched the telepath disappeared into the small ensuit and turned back to unpacking the food and set it on the table.

(part 30: Metis)

Talia ran Susan's brush quickly through her hair to rid it of that bed-tousled look.

*If I'm lucky it'll soon return to that state,* she couldn't help thinking as she gave her fair tresses one more stroke. She surpressed the bubble of laughter that came to her throat at the imagined situation the thought had brought.

*Naughty Talia,* she grinned at her reflection, even as she shook her head.

She moved to the bathroom's entrance to openly watch Ivanova hurry about her living room, taking that moment to just enjoy Susan's unself-conscious presence.

Susan looked up, catching Talia's eyes, then lowered her bright regard quickly as a smile came to her mouth. But not before the telepath had caught the desirous glint in those blue eyes.

It was nice to know that Susan liked what she saw. And it would seem, as Talia slowly moved off the door frame she leaned on to approach the set table Susan now stood very still by, that the commander liked very much what she was seeing.....

(part 31: Jayne)

Ivanova's eyes were staring at the telepaths open robe and what lay beneath, which wasnt much! She had to catch her breath for a moment and then diverted her eyes back to the table and the food she was about to place down onto it. A smile curled on Susan Ivanova's lips in anticipation of what was to come....and to how Talia took great pleasure in teasing her like that.

Deep in thought she hadnt noticed Talia walk up behind her, she felt Talia's arms wrap around her waist and the smell of the telepaths beautiful scent as she held onto her tightly. *I love you Susan Ivanova* she whispered...Ivanova's body was overcome by weakness, she turned towards Talia and.....

(part 32: Xavier)

Ivanova's body was overcome by weakness, she turned towards Talia and wrapped her arms around her. She closed her eyes, sighing as she let herself immerse in the smell and the feel of the woman in her arms. Talia, on the other hand, thinking that even with all the thing that had happened to her previously she would still make this day a perfect day in her memory.

For her, to be able to be here, right here, right now with Susan Ivanova, to be wrapped in her arms, so... close. Feeling her warmth, smelling her scent, her present...

She could also feel that Ivanova was afraid, of what, she wasn't sure. 'Probably of the day's events,' she thought. She felt her desire strongly and wondered how much of it was hers and how much of it was the commander's.

"I think we should sit down for dinner before everything got too cold." Ivanova said, shaking.

She couldn't believe how much she wanted the woman right now. And to feel her body pressed against her, the heat, the scent, it was almost too much and she was afraid she might just took her to bed and ravish her right then and there.

But her stomach had reminded her again that, the course of action would be unwise. She wouldn't want to faith from excessive exertion without enough energy intake.

That would be too much of an embarrassment for her to bare.

(part 33: Metis)

Ivanova pulled out a chair for the telepath.

"Smells good," the commander heard murmured, low and throaty near her bosum as the telepath took her seat. She stifled taking a deep breath. Talia was, at the moment, too close to her chest, and this wasn't exactly the right time to be....bumping her in the face like that.

"You too," Susan said gallantly, realizing too late her slip as she finally pushed the telepath's chair in and quickly took her own seat. Instead of sitting across, she decided to move her chair closer to Talia's side.

"I'm starving," the commander declared. She began loading her's and Talia's plate rather energetically.

Talia had to wonder how Susan managed that with such accuracy, the utensils practically flying through the air, because she felt the commander's eyes upon her the whole time.....

(part 34: Xavier)

Talia watched her plate being loaded with food, as the smell touched her nostrils she realized how hungry she was. When the party started earlier she hadn't had the chance to touch any sort of delicacy before all hell broke loose. Afterward she was in the medlab, that was several hours ago, and now she was starving.

Picking up her utensile, Talia tucked in elegantly, feeling her energy returning as she swallowed the first bite. As for the Commander, Ivanova's attention was divided between the beautiful woman that sat no more than 2 feet away from her and the food in front of her, she wasn't sure at the moment which was more enticing.

Dinner continued in comfortable silent, both knew that they needed to replenish their system for whatever that was going to happen next, and both had no doubt that it was going to need a lot of energy.

Talia smiled discretely as the thought entered her mind. 'Need a lot of energy indeed, what are you thinking Talia.' She shook her head slightly at the inappropriate images in her head.

From the corner of her eye, Susan was watching. Those lips... she swallowed hard, feeling thirsty all of the sudden as she caught the image of the telepath's lush lips wrapped around the fork. 'Oh boy.'

(part 35: Metis)

Susan felt the soft brush of bare toes on the sensitive inside of her naked ankle.

"Mmmph!" she awkwardly exhaled into her water glass.

As she put her napkin to her mouth she felt those toes move to caress the arch of her step--and tickle her heel.

Talia leaned on the table, her plate now forgotten, a soft smile on her lips as she watched Susan with half closed, smoky eyes.

*Oh--what the hell,* Susan decided, and moved forward to kiss the telepath.

(part 36: Jayne)

And as Susan lean't forward to kiss her, Talia got up from her seat and stood, leaving Ivanova feeling slightly foolish.

That was until, Talia gave her that sexy look and held out her hand invitingly with a half smile on her face that said *come to bed Susan*......

(part 37: Xavier)

For the first time in her life, Susan Ivanova didn't know whether to follow her... this beautiful woman, or faith. Her brain did not seem to be up to the task at the moment. After a few moment of kick starting her brain again, Susan spring from her seat and went after the telepath, who was already at the doorjam, beckoning for her to come.

Talia looked on with a half amuse smile on her serene features as she watched this woman that so capable of seemingly everything and anything sat in place and suddenly spring out of her seat and made her war toward her.

(part 38: Metis)

....It had been such a long time.....a long long time since this, the touch of mouth on mouth, hands on hair and on the outlines of her limbs and body, kneading the flesh beneath the clothing. They had spent a long time just kissing, and she hadn't touched her *there* yet....

Susan moved one of Talia's wandering hands to her breast.

She felt the telepath's broad smile beneath her mouth.

Talia caressed her through the fabric of her shirt and the sensations drove her wild.

Yet even as Talia surprised her by artfully hooking her leg, tripping her back easily on to her own bed, Susan felt the persistent nagging of some question in the far recesses of her mind that she could barely identify--her senses so thoroughly preoccupied with kissing and smelling and feeling her....Talia, Talia, Talia....

This was what she wanted, yes?

Even with.....a telepath?

Talia glanced into her eyes for a moment, pausing in unbuttoning Susan's shirt.

"What is it?" she breathed.

Susan stared up into her darkened eyes, so warm and passionate, so filled with a lust mixed with loving concern for her.

If Talia did not know the answer to that question, she was not scanning, Susan finally realized.

She reached up to bring Talia's face to hers.

"Nothing," she murmured against her mouth, urging Talia with an arch of her body to continue. "Nothing at all...."

(part 39: Jayne)

Susan Ivanova woke and turned over, her arm fell across something soft and warm.."mmm" she mumbled to herself and pulled herself closer to the sleeping telepath, wrapping her arm around her and snuggling into her soft blonde hair.

Her thoughts drifting off, remembering with a smile curling up on her lips, the overwhelming passion they had shared together tonight. The thoughts would not let her fall back to sleep. So instead she just enjoyed feeling Talia this close to her, the woman who had made so much fear run through her very core, was now the woman she loved. And the best thing was, Talia loved her too. Ivanova smiled to herself content.

(part 40: Xavier)

Talia Winters slowly came to wakefulness, and for the first time in a long time, she felt warmth, content, and even loved. The arm that thrown across her chest reminded her that she was right where she had longed to be... in Susan's arm, the person that she had been dreaming of.

For a long time she didn't dare hope that they would be come friend, let alone anything more. But here and now...

Sighing softly to herself as the arm around her chest tightened, pulling her even closer to the warm body that was wrapping around her from behind.

"Um... pinch me." Talia murmured, a hint of laughter in her husky voice.

"What?"

Talia chuckled softly in her throat then rolled over as the arm that had been holding her tight loosened. She came face to face with the bewilded Commander. The telepath reached up and kissed the dimple at her chin.

Ivanova blinked a few times as she heard the request. 'Did I just hear that right?'A wicked grin appeared on her fine features and she reached down to the fleshy body part of the telepath. And preceed to pinch her.

"Ow!"

Ivanova bursted out laughing and she pulled the telepath even closer to her.

"Just a figure of speech Susan." Talia husked as she reached back and smooth out the attacked body part. "I just want to make sure that this is not a dream."

"oh.." Susan said and grinned.. "Well, then." She captured her full lips in a kiss promised more to come. A kiss that took both their breath away.

After a long moment they part.

"Did that feel like a dream to you?" Susan asked softly.

"No, not a dream..." She kissed her again, and again.

This, definitely not a dream...

The End