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In Midst of Little Things (Temptation)

By Xavier

The Second in Command of Babylon 5 station, Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova, was tying her hair up in a tight ponytail. A tall, attractive woman, she dressed in her white sleeve shirt, dull blue trousers. Her chestnut brown hair tied up in a tight ponytail. A uniform jacket was in one hand. She was leaning over the dresser in her bedroom, looking for a missing item.

"Talia," she called out loudly. "Talia."

Tossed her jacket over the already make bed, she still looking around.

"Yes, Susan?" A respond came floating from the small ensuite, attached to the bedroom.

"Did you see my insignia?"

Ivanova continued to look, hands busily buttoning up her sleeve shirt.

"Isnít it suppose to be on your jacket?"

The telepath stepped out of the bathroom, droplets of water still on her porcelain skin, which was flushed from the steam. She was wrapped in a large towel, her arm crossed over her chest. She was looking at her lover with amused smile on her face. Talia ran her hand over her slightly damp golden blond tresses, and leaned against the doorís frame.

"I took it off when I sent it to be clean." The Lt. Commander straightened up and turned to look at the woman behind her. "And you know we were in quite a hurry last night when..."

Ivanova frowned when she saw that the telepath had an amuse look on her face and said nothing..

"You think itís funny." She accused.

Talia had to try harder to hide her smile, she bit her lower lip lightly. Then she turned to look at the dresser where Ivanova usually put her things. Her eyes swept over the surface, there was no object in question to be seen.

"Maybe it fell on the floor, but I canít find it." Susan continued to mutter as she got down on her hands and knees, looking under the dresser, and behind the nightstand. Talia pulling out her outfit for the day, her usual black/amber business suit, though she stopped every now and again to look at the Lt. Commander.

Ivanova continued to look into the living area. While they were in the hurry to undress last night, it was entirely possible that she might just tossed it somewhere without realizing it.

"Where the hell is the damn thing?"

Talia smiled faintly as she put on her black/amber suite, she pulled on her silk top and put on her jacket all the while listened to the complaining and muttering from the Lt. Commander. She reached down to pick up her gloves, and something fell on to the carpet. She picked it up, it was the item Ivanova was looking for. The silver/gold bar indicated the position of Second in Command.

Ivanova was still on her hands and knees and looking down underneath the low coffee table. She felt an amusement from the telepath, knowing that Talia was watching her. So, she got up.

"Youíre suppose to help me find it."

The telepath simply smiled at her and crossed the short distance between them.

"You forgot to look under my gloves."

Ivanova leered at her, the telepath smiled at her sweetly and put the insignia on where it belonged, on the Lt. Commander jacket.

"Today is going to be the worse." Susan muttered, watching Taliaís movements.

The telepath looked at her she was frowning slightly.

"You are such a pessimist," said Talia. "This could be the worse, and the rest of the day look up from here."

"I seriously doubt that." Ivanova said with a snort.

Talia leaned closer, "well, maybe I could make you feel a little better." She said with a grin.

"Iíd love to, butó" Susan started.

"You have to be in C&C in ten minutes." Talia finished it for her; she was clearly more than just a little disappointed.

Ivanova bent her head to kiss her, she captured the full lips with her own and managed to kiss her thoroughly. Left the telepath breathless by the time she released her.

Susan sighed softly as the telepath rested her head over her shoulder. Talia kissed her, hugging her tightly.

"Well, have a good day at work." She said and released her.

"Iíll try." But I doubt it will happen. Ivanova thought. Talia seemed to catch that, she didnít say anything, however. Ivanova reluctantly stepped back and deposited a kiss on the tip of her nose. She zipped up her jacket and placed another kiss on her cheek, murmured her good-bye.

Ivanova disappeared out the door as Talia watched her go.

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Wandering through the commercial sector, Talia Winters had just closed another negotiation between the two major corporations on Mars. She felt relaxed as she always did after finished a particularly difficult negotiation. This was one quite difficult, but was not as long as she estimated.

As she walked pass a clothing store her eyes caught the sight of dark blue sweater. Winters took a moment to contemplate before she went in. The telepath picked the item up with her gloved hands, holding it up she thought that the sweater would look good on Ivanova. She knew the Lt. Commander was not in the habit of shopping when nothing was there to do like she did. Ivanova would spend most of her time reading, but then it wasnít like she had much free time to do anything else.

"May I help you?" The attendee asked her.

The woman was standing about a foot away. Talia was slightly startled at the question, she didnít pay much attention to the voices in her head, since the noise outside was equally loud.

The woman smiled pleasantly at her, waiting. Talia turned around holding up the dark blue sweater.

"Could you find a size smaller than this one for me?"

"Of course." The attendee politely nodded and walked to the back of the store. Talia stood there, looking around the shop.

From the outside of the small store Claudia Fletcher was also looking around for something that might catch her eyes. She was quite new to this place, never had she see so many species walking around like this. At first she was a little overwhelmed at the varieties of alien and the languages being spoken. Now, after two weeks of getting use to the place, she felt right at home.

Looking up from the item in her hand, Fletcher spotted station resident telepath, Talia Winters. A smile lit up her face. The telepath in question was standing at the small boot with a sweater in hands. She was talking to the woman, she was the attendee apparently. She watched as Winters gave her credit chit, and the sweater to the woman. Then she approached.

Talia handed the older woman her card.

"Could you wrap this for me, please." She asked politely, handing her the sweater. Smiling, she thought about what the Lt. Commanderís reaction would be when she present her with the gift. Ivanova would be surprise and wondered what was the occasion.

Suddenly she felt someone was approaching, and turned around.

"Ms. Winters." Fletcher greeted her with a bright smile on her face.

The woman was dressed in a causal dark trousers, dark sweater, her blond hair flowed down her back.

"Ms. Fletcher," Talia replied with a polite nod.

The woman was the new representative of one of the major corporation on Mars. Talia worked with her once when she first came aboard. She found the woman to be very reasonable and quite pleasant to work with. A nice change from all the annoying aliens, or the strange Volon.

The telepath turned back to receive her card and the wrapped sweater from the woman.

"For yourself?"

"No, a gift for someone." She turned to face the woman directly. "Is there something I can do for you, Ms. Fletcher?"

Claudia paused, then smiled at her. She decided that since she wasnít going to get many chances to interact on the personal level with this beautiful woman, she might as well try to be friend now, and if something came after that, well... that would be good too.

"If you donít have any plan for the afternoon. I wonder if you could show me around the station. Since Iím new here."

Fletcher watched for the telepathís reaction, she felt a little more than just nervous. The telepath was appeared to be thinking, she lift her hand up and ran it through her short blond hair.

Talia thought about what she was asked. She didnít have any appointment in the afternoon, because she expected the major negotiation she had in the morning to be quite intense and long. And since that wasnít the case, she was left free for the afternoon. She thought that making a new friend wouldnít hurt, and it was difficult to find someone who had no prejudice regarded telepath.

"Iíll be happy to show you around, Ms. Fletcher."

The woman beamed at her. "Call me Claudia."

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"This is a very nice place." Fletcher said appreciatively. "Do you come here often?"

Winters had taken her to different parts of the station from alien sector, to docking bay, everywhere with the exception of down below. After a few hours of walking around, finally Talia took her to the garden. She, herself often came here to relax after a long, hard day. It was one of the quietest places on Babylon 5. There was very few people walking around in the garden at this time. There were less voices in the background hum that she heard constantly. Which was the reason she liked to be here.

Talia smiled at the woman, "yes, especially when the negotiation was intense."

"I think I know what you mean. This is a perfect place to sit down and relax."

Fletcher grinned inwardly, now she knew where to look for the telepath. And best of all she could pretend to come in for a walk without looking too suspicious. Now it was all a matter of not thinking about the subject while in her presence. She was certain that the telepath would pick it up, either consciously, or unconsciously. It either case she couldnít risk that.

Talia led her to one of the benches, which were being placed throughout the garden. They sat down next to each other, Talia crossed her legs, and rested her gloved hands over her knee.

Fletcher eyed the telepath curiously, and she remembered the package that Talia had been carrying for the last few hours. She kicked herself internally for being such an inconsiderate person. She didnít think about the package at all, and how the telepath carried it all the way from Zocalo, and taken her to different parts of the station.

"Iím sorry."

Talia turned to her with a puzzled look in her eyes. She wasnít sure what the apology was for.

"What?"

"I asked you to show me around, and you have to carry that for hours"

"Oh, it wasnít heavy." Talia shrugged it off.

"Maybe, we should drop it off at your quarters." Claudia suggested. She hoped that the telepath would say yes. She would love to see the place where this woman lived. The bed she slept in, one could tell a lot from where the person lived, from the way furniture being arranged, and decoration.

The telepath opened her mouth to answer. She thought it was a good idea, she didnít like carry the gift she intended to give to Susan around the station. She was afraid that she might put it down somewhere and forgot about it. On the other hand she wasnít sure if it was just an innocence suggestion, or there was any intention behind it. She could, of course, scan her to know what exactly the woman was thinking, but that would break the rules.

Finally Talia nodded, if she wanted to see where she live then, why not. It wasnít like she had anything to hide. Winters looked at the time-piece which was on her wrist. There was still time before the end of first shift on C&C. She hated the idea of having someone in her quarters if Susan was going to come over after her duty. Even if she didnít think of the person anything more than just friend.

They both got up and headed for the nearest transporter tube. They traveled in silent as the tube brought them to their destination.

The telepathís quarters.

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"C&C this is liner Teucer request permission to dock."

Ivanova leaned over her console, fingers ran over her board with ease practice.

"Liner Teucer, this is C&C you are clear for dock at docking bay 5."

Ivanova sat down on her chair, her face serious of command mask. Inwardly, she smiled thinking about the incident earlier in the morning. Never had she been careless about her uniform. Always, she would put her jacket away in its place, and if she needed to take things like insignia off it she would put them in the drawer.

The Lt. Commander couldnít help but smiled wryly at herself. She had been paying less attention to where her clothes were landing lately. Especially when there was a beautiful telepath waiting for her to disrobe. She recalled the previous night when she arrived at her quarters after a particularly long day. She found her dinner ready on the table, and the telepath curled up on the couch, waiting for her.

Greeted her back home with kisses and warm embrace.

Ivanova grinned to herself. This was bliss, she thought. Never had she been this happy. To wake up next to someone so beautiful made her morning a pleasure rather than a pain to face. She was in the good mood and that was a good thing, a very good thing. She was sure that her subordinates thought so too.

The Lt. Commander propped her feet up on the railing, looking at the various reports that came in. A few more transporters due before her break.

"Well, she was right that was the worse." Ivanova murmured to herself.

"What was it?"

Ivanova turned her head sharply, right behind her was Commander Sinclair.

"No, sir. Nothing."

Sinclair stepped up beside her, he looked out into the darkness of space. Then, he turned to look at her.

"You look happy." He noted idly.

"Good night sleep," Ivanova countered brightly. She knew sheíd been saying that a lot lately. It was the only excuse she could think of, they all knew what she was like when woke up after a rough night.

Of course, she couldnít just tell them that it was all thanks to Talia, who made her life happy.

"Arenít you suppose to be in the council meeting?"

"Londo didnít show up." Sinclair said with a snort.

He had managed to get Londo Mollari, and GíKar to agree on a treaty a while back. It wasnít his own doing, but situation helped mostly, and not to mention the help from Talia Winters, the station resident telepath.

Ivanova nodded, remembering. It was when Londoís secret file was stolen by his girl friend, a Centauri dancer. Which had turned out that she was a slave, and for her freedom she did what she had to do. Apparently she had changed her mind at last minute since she was running away and got captured by her master. He offered to sell the data crystal to GíKar. The file was very important to Centuari government, and if the Narn Ambassador knew what it was inside he would never cooperate with the Commander. Sinclair knew that, so he told him nothing only offer to help with the deal to favor the Narn Regime.

Then, Sinclair had gone to Talia, asking her for help. He wanted her to scan the man and tell them where the girl was, and where was the data crystal.

The telepath told her that she didnít want to break the rules about scanning without permission, but when Londo told her that a life of a woman at stack she agreed to assist. Ivanova was shocked that Talia would ever break any rules, she remembered Talia poked her in the ribs and told her that there were ways around that.

That and some help from GíKar result in the data crystal back to Londo, and the Centuari Ambassador agreed to the treaty.

"So, what are you going to do?" The Lt. Commander asked, looking up at him.

"Hunt him down." Sinclair said with a mock-serious expression on his face. "Heís got to understand that this is not a joke."

"Well, he wonít let you win easily, especially when there is Narn involve. Londo is too damn proud to agree, and cooperate with any Narn."

"I might have to request Ms. Winters assistance with that."

"Whatever do you need her for?" The Second in Command asked with a frown.

Sinclair laughed, misunderstood her expression. "You donít have to be so hostile toward her, Lt. Commander. I promise Iíll keep her in the conference room. You wonít have to deal with her at all."

Ivanova raised her brows at the remark, but let it go. She didnít mean it the way her commanding officer thought, but she wasnít going to correct that. Normally she was not in the position where she would be dealing with any telepath, not just Talia. She was in charge of day-to-day operation, and that did not include the diplomat, or any negotiation. And she was afraid what she might show if she happened to work with Talia.

"Good."

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Talia brought her client... new friend to her quarters. All the while Fletcher made a small talk about nothing in particular. The telepath merely listened and responded when the questions called for.

Talia slipped her identicard into the slot and waited for the door to open.

"Nice place you have here, Talia."

"Thank you," the telepath said off handedly.

Her quarters were as tidied as ever, in fact she hadnít been in her quarters for days now. She spent most nights of the recent week in the Second in Commandís quarters which was larger than her own.

"Please, have a seat." Talia gestured at the couch. "Can I get you anything? Coffee, tea?"

Winters moved over to where the kitchenette located, after she had dropped the package into a drawer.

"Tea would be nice thank you." Fletcher looked over to where the telepath was moving around in the kitchen.

The telepath set the cattle over the stove and took two mugs out of one of the cupboards. Fletcher looked around the tidy quarters, the wall was done in deep green, and lights were dimly lit. She looked at the various bottles that were set on the counter. Different shades of colors reflected the light, gave out some of the most beautiful colors. She suspected that they were there for decorative purpose only.

The whole decoration was giving out the calming effect, which probably was the main purpose. She understood by working with many commercial telepaths that they found the environment around them to be very important to their work. So, it was probably applied to their living space as well. She didnít know for sure, since she was never tried to be friend with them.

Talia wait for the water to boil, once it did she poured the water over the teaís bags, and brought the mugs over to where her new friend was sitting. She noticed that Fletcher was looking around in her quarters with more than just a mere curiosity. She could pick up some stray thoughts, but decided that she did not really want to know, so she held the block tighter in place.

"Thank you," Claudia murmured quietly as the telepath handed her a mug.

Talia sat down on the chair opposite the couch, she held her cup in both hands. She felt heat came through the gloves but not unbearable. She rather liked the warm it produced. She felt a little awkward at this, wondered why she brought this woman here. Theyíd just met, and she was her client.

Then realized that it was the reason why she agreed to all this. Claudia Fletcher was her client, a very pleasant one. She did not want to be rude to her, and lose one of the most pleasant clients to work with. Most of her client here on Babylon 5 was quite annoying to say the least. Some were strange, and some were down right difficult to work with.

Talia rarely embarked on the relationship on personal level with her client. For one thing it because that she was a telepath, a lot of people did not want to be near telepath in fear of their secrets. Some just werenít comfortable with anyone who could read their minds. On the rear occasions that she happened to get along with any of her client, enough to have meal together and be friend it was never this fast. She realized that she was somewhat of a loner by anyone standard.

Most telepaths were, it was almost like a job description.

They both were sitting in silence for a long moment, just sipping their tea.

Finally, Fletcher broke the silent.

"So, do you have any plan for dinner?" The woman put her mug down on the low coffee table.

Talia quickly replied, "yes, as the matter of fact, I do." Then she bit her tongue, she wanted to brush off the invitation that she knew was coming, but still did not want to be so obvious about it. This was sound a little too harsh. It was almost sounded like she didnít want her company at all.

"Oh," the woman said, a disappointment was clearly on her face.

Then she shrugged it off like it wasnít a big deal to her. While she was still disappointed she didnít want to embarrass herself. This was the second time that she asked the telepath to share a meal, and both invitations were rejected. She noticed that Winters was sounded a little quick to brush her off. That was never a good sign.

Fletcher looked at the chrono-display on the computer console, and decided that she should excuse herself before she over stayed her welcome. And a retrieve would be good at this point.

"Well, itís late." She said, put her tea down on the low table. "I think I better get going. I didnít finish unpack yet."

Talia simply nodded and stood up. She led the woman to her door, and said good-bye.

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"Garibaldi." Ivanova greeted the Security Chief, she waved her hand in the air indicated that he should come over.

"Lt. Commander." Michael Garibaldi replied, surprise was cleared in his tone. He didnít expect to see her here, not after work.

Actually he hadnít seen her in the casino to unwind for over a month now. He was wondering about her where about, and he tried to ask. Ivanova wasnít very cooperative with him, not when her private life was involved. Hell, she was never cooperated at anything for that matter.

He walked over to where she was seated.

"Have a seat." She said cheerfully.

He took a seat at the table, wondering why she was so cheerful. She had been in the good mood for the past month. It was too long and it started to scare all the people that work up in Command and Control. He even got scared himself.

Ivanova was known to be the biggest pessimist of all time. Her view on situation was always imagined the worse case scenario. And now she didnít seem like the Ivanova that he knew when he came aboard. Not that all this happy Ivanova did perform her job well. She still was the same efficient Second in Command and her job performance were as good as ever, excellent in fact. It just that saw her like this made him think that something was going on that he didnít know.

And Garibaldi hated that more than anything.

Once his instinct started to buzz, telling him that something was going on. It would not shut up until he learned of whatever it was that going on. It was going to drive him insane.

Ivanova grinned, a knowing grin. She knew what he was thinking, and sheíd be damn if she was going to tell him, or give him any hint. It was more fun this way anyway.

"So, how are you?" He asked, smiling pleasantly at her.

Ivanova thought that he looked like he was about to interrogate a prisoner. The smile didnít help either.

"Never been better."

"I havenít seen you around here lately." He started, "somethingís going on?"

Ivanova arched her eyebrows, she wasnít surprised, she knew that sooner or later he would ask. Garibaldi wasnít the type that could just let go of something like this. She was surprised however, that he could wait this long to come and ask her.

"Is there something you want, Garibaldi?"

"Yeah," he replied quickly, leaning over the table and stared at her. He wanted some answer.

"Oh?"

Ivanova leaned back in her chair, this had turned into some interesting interrogation. Clearly he wanted some answer, no demanded some answer. She grinned, amused. She thought that he should know better than to ask her. He wasnít the only tough one around here, he knew it, and she knew it.

"Iíve seen you... youíve been pretty happy recently." He started, seemed uncertain of what to say. "I mean, youíve changed. You look happier, more cheerful, and quite frankly people started to get scare, Ivanova."

"And thatís a bad thing." She responded, unperturbed. Her hand toying with the small glass, one arm crossed over her chest. Her face still blank, devoid of expression... other than amused.

"You got a boyfriend that I didnít know about?"

"No, I donít have any boyfriend, Mr. Garibaldi." Said Ivanova, "Iíll let you know if I have one."

"Well, you know I could... check his background for you."

"Thanks, Michael, but thereís no need to check the background. Because thereís no background to check." She paused to emphasize the last sentence. "Because there is no boyfriend. No, nah-dah, none whatsoever."

Garibaldi stepped back for a moment. He didnít expect this, well, he didnít expect to get anything out of her at all, and certainly not this out right denial. To him, she looked like a woman in love. All this cheerfulness, a happy good morning in the messhall... when she happened to show up which was starting to be fairly seldom.

"Come on, Ivanova." He said. "You know you can trust me. Tell me who?"

"I canít tell you Garibaldi, because there is no one to tell."

"Ivanova."

She thought that he started to sound a child whining for a toy. Suddenly it was not at all amusing anymore. The man could annoy her out of her mind, she thought.

"Give it a rest, Garibaldi."

Ivanova raised her glass for another shot. The waitress brought it over quickly, Ivanova pulled her credit chit out and gave it to her. The gesture indicated that she was about to leave the place soon.

She drained the content quickly, soon after the same waitress brought the card back to her.

"And if you will excuse me, I think I better get back to my quarters and get some rest."

The Lt. Commander left without waiting for any respond from Michael Garibaldi.

"Well, good night to you too." He said to the empty chair opposite him.

Now, he wanted to know even more. He thought that if Ivanova had started a personal relationship with someone, why he hadnít seen her with any one in particular. In fact he hadnít seen her at all. He hated this nagging feeling in the back of his mind.

Then something had occurred to him that while he was indulged in this conspiracy theory of his; he hadnít seen the stationís resident telepath at all. He hadnít waited for her in the transporter tube like he used to, and decided that maybe he should sort out the telepath soon.

Oh well, Iíll get out of her sooner or later.

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Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova exited the transporter tube on the habitat ring of the station. She went straight to her quarters. She nodded politely at some officers along the way. Without realizing it, she hummed absently, an old song she had heard long time ago.

The Lieutenant nodded politely at his commanding officer, he was working the second shift on C&C, so there was no opportunity for him to actually work with Ivanova. Though that did not stop him from hearing a few reputations about her. He didnít think that all the things he heard about her proceeded her at the moment.

For she was humming to herself, and looking very cheerful.

He shrugged, off duty time would do that to people, then continued on his way.

Ivanova felt like running, so she could get to where she wanted to be the most. Her quarters. She hoped that as soon as she stepped into her quarters Talia would already be there, waiting.

Stopped in front of her own quarters, Ivanova pulled out her identicard, which would allow her to enter her own quarters. Quickly she put the card into the slot, the lights lit up and the door slid opened, let her inside.

The lights in the room were down, the whole place was quite dark.

"Computer, lights."

The lights went up, there was no one inside. In all her enthusiasm to get back she didnít notice that there was no presence of anyone inside. Ivanova frowned slightly, and sighed in annoyance with herself at not noticing that before enter.

She tried to think of Taliaís schedule for the day. She remembered that the telepath had only one client today. Ivanova remembered her saying that it would be a long and intensive one, so she would not be doing more than just one negotiation today.

That was early this morning, she thought. How come sheís not back yet?

Ivanova pondered that as she moved around her quarters. Picked out her casual attire, she changed into a pair of dark color trousers, and black sleeve shirt. Like most military personal, the Lt. Commander hated to wait for anything. She was not one with a lot of patience. Practically everyone knew that.

Decided that she was not going to wait until the telepath returned from where she was. Ivanova made an exit from her quarters. She paused in front of the door, tried to think where would be the first logical choice to find Talia Winters. Then it occurred to her that the telepath hadnít been back to her own quarters for quite a while now, and it was entirely possible that she would go back to tidy up the place. Before it get all too dusty from neglected.

Or she could be in Zocalo, walking around as she used to when she had nothing else to do at the moment.

Ivanova bit the inside of her cheek, trying to decide where she should go first. After a few moments of contemplating, she went straight to transporter tube and went down a level in habitat ring. To where the stationís resident telepathís quarters located.

The Lt. Commander forced herself to stand still as soon as she realized that she was bouncing slightly on her feet. The tube seemed to travel slower than she ever remembered it to be. She wondered if it was the problem with maintenance, or it was just herself.

Ivanova wondered why she felt this urgency. She felt it every time she was going to see the telepath, even when she knew that Talia would be waiting for her. When the tube came to a stop, she rushed through between the two doors even as they were not fully open. She tried to calm down, and walk calmly, but it didnít work at the moment. To others she appeared to be stalking through the corridor, as if she was about to arrest someone.

Ivanova rounded the corner, her eyes caught someone exited from the telepathís quarters. A tall woman, long blond hair tied up in a ponytail, dressed in casual clothes. The woman didnít notice her apparently, since she just walked to the opposite side.

The Lt. Commander felt her heart dropped to her toes, blood drained away from her head. She was sure that if anyone bother to look right now her face probably as white as the paper. Suddenly her knees felt weak, she thought that in any moment now she would collapse on the floor. Hundred different questions pounding in her head. Who was she? What was she doing in the telepathís quarters?

She leaned weakly against the wall, Ivanova felt like she couldnít breathe, as if she was being suffocated. Slowly she stood up straight and took a moment to compost herself.

This wonít do, she told herself. Donít just stand here and assume about what had happen. Just go in.

So, she stepped in front of the quarters and put the identicard into the slot. The door slid opened, allowed her the passage.

Talia who was about to change into something else other than her business suit turned around to see the Lt. Commander entered. She didnít expect to see her here, since they usually met in Ivanovaís quarters, not her own. But she was happy nonetheless.

At first she didnít notice the way Susan stopped just inside the door, and her face was pale. The telepath quickly leaped into her arms, threw her arms around her neck, and kissed her soundly on the lips. Ivanova obligingly wrapped her arms around the slim waist. But she didnít return the kiss with the usual enthusiasm as she always did.

Talia pulled back slightly, she felt that something was bothering her lover. For the first time since she stepped inside that Talia saw how pale she looked, that the Lt. Commander was actually trembling slightly.

"Susan, whatís wrong?" She asked softly, concerned colored her voice.

Talia cupped her cheeks in both palms, her eyes were clearly concerned. With the gloves still on, she could not feel the Lt. Commanderís temperature. The telepath gently nudged her over to the couch, while she was still stood there.

Ivanova wanted to scream, to yell at her, wanted to just push inside her mind, see who was the woman that had just left her quarters. But her instinct told her not to, it told her that the telepath would die if she force herself inside her mind. Though it was highly unlikely that she would resist. Ivanova maybe inexperience but she still stronger than a P 5, commercial telepath like Talia.

"Susan," Talia placed her bare hand over the Lt. Commanderís forehead. "Susan, are you all right?"

A deep frown spread across her face, and Ivanova pushed the loving hands away.

"Who is she?"

The telepath was more than just confused now, she was shocked at the harsh tone, and the way her hands were pushed away. It was as if Ivanova was afraid of her touch.

"Susan, I donít understand."

"Donít lie to me Talia, who is she?" Ivanova was whispering harshly, her face went from pale to red with anger.

She kept her hands balled into fists at her side. She didnít know what would happen if she did not take good control of her hands. She was afraid that she might hurt the telepath.

"I saw her left your quarters just before I got here." Ivanova trusted her face into an inch away from Taliaís. The telepath was trying to think she had no idea what made the Lt. Commander angry. Then she remembered, Claudia Fletcher. That was the woman Susan saw.

"She was just the client, Susan." Talia tried to explain, though she knew in this stage Ivanova wasnít going to accept any explanation.

"Donít you lie to me."

Ivanova reached out and grabbed her by the shoulders, squeezing them tightly.

"Susan, I didnít lie, she was just a client."

Talia forced herself to stay calm, this wouldnít do if she counter the already angry Susan with one of her own. She didnít understand why the Lt. Commander got so angry at the fact that there was someone walked out of her quarters.

Was she jealous? The possibility came into her mind. Talia calmly pulled herself away from her.

"Just the client? Do you always take your clients home?"

Ivanova bit her tongue as soon as that came out, she wished that she could take that back. Talia was visibly flinched at the statement and the implication.

If you donít believe me why donít you scan me?

Talia sent, her icy cool mental probe stopped Ivanova dead in her track. Regret colored her feature, she couldnít believe she lashed out like that. She had always been in control of her responses, Ivanova felt ashamed of what she just did. She didnít need to scan her to know that the telepath did not lie.

"I... Talia Iím sorry"

Talia just stared at her with hurt expression on her beautiful face. Her lips were thinning.

"I think maybe you should go."

"Talia..."

The telepath walked over to the couch, and she sat down. Questions kept popping up in her head, why Susan thought that she would do anything the way she implied, why didnít she trust her.

The Lt. Commander stood in place for a moment, unsure of what she should do. It was clear that while she was angry and being totally unreasonable, Talia was even more upset. She moved to where Talia was sitting. Knelt in front of her, Ivanova rested her hand on the telepathís.

"Talia, Iím really sorry. I didnít mean that."

"You donít trust me." She stated, the words were quiet, a simple statement.

She took her hands in a gentle grip, Ivanova didnít know what to tell her. She didnít know why she lashed out, or why she thought that there was something going on behind her back. Maybe because since she had known Talia, the telepath never really had a friend. Or the one that closed enough to invited back to where she lived. Maybe that was why, and the fact that she had never seen the woman before.

Being a Second in Command, Susan Ivanova knew faces around the station, especially those that stayed here for quite a while. Since she couldnít recall seeing the woman before, she assumed that the woman was new on the station, and Talia already confirmed that.

Susan knew that if there was anyone who had defenses up to keep people away at arm length, Talia was one of them. Like any other telepath, Talia did not want to know anything about other people. She thought that she already knew more than she wanted to.

"I do," she offered weakly. "But Iíve never seen you take anyone back home before."

She let go of her hands and moved to sit beside her, close to her, but not as close as she would like. She knew that she blew it, big time. Ivanova rested her elbows on her knees, put her head in her hands.

"I didnít know what I was thinking." She muttered quietly.

Inwardly, she was kicking herself, hard. Cursing everything that made her think that Talia would ever do that to her. She didnít know what she could say that would help the situation now. Lt. Commander Ivanova was never good at words at the best of time.

Groveling might help, she thought to herself.

It would take a lot of that to undo what she had just done.

"Forgive me, please."

Ivanova looked at her with sad eyes, her large, soft eyes pleading.

Talia was still angry at the way Susan accused her without any reason, or evidence. She stared at her for a long moment, a part of her didnít want to forgive. That part of her wanted to scream, and told her to get out, told her that she did not want to see her ever again. The other part was already forgave her, the part that adored the Lt. Commander so. The part that had fallen for her since the first time she saw her.

Talia took a deep breath, calming herself. While Ivanova watching for her responses, she felt really nervous, she had never really see the telepath angry at her before, in fact she had never see the telepath angry at anything. Talia was quite calm at such a emotion, she had seen her frightened, sad, but never angry. She didnít know what to be expected of this.

The telepath let the silence stretched out from seconds into minutes, making the Lt. Commander even more nervous. She felt like she was about to drown, like the air had been sucked out of the room. Her chest tightened, her vision blurred.

She could not breathe.

Finally Talia turned to her, another moment passed before she said anything. The hurt expression still etched strongly on her beautiful face, but it was softened by the minute.

"Forgive me, please..." Ivanova said again.

Desperate.

Talia looked down and then back at her, then she closed her eyes. A small nod, indicated that she was forgiven.

The Lt. Commander quickly wrapped her up in both arms, whispering her gratitude.

Thank you. She sent.

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

Ivanova was raised on her elbow, in her arms, the back turned to her was the telepath. Talia was sleeping peacefully, her breathing slow, and even. The room was so quiet that she could hear her heartbeats. Even in her sleep, the telepath looked a little tense. She knew that even though Talia had forgiven her things still were not all right between them.

She knew that she had hurt the telepath deeply with accusation. The Lt. Commander had never knew that she could be this unreasonable, she totally disregarded her common senses and let her emotion came over. She didnít know that she could be this jealous, never once thought that it would be possible. Not to mention that it was totally against everything she was raised to believe.

The Lt. Commander placed a kiss over the soft blond hair, thinking of the way to make it all up to her. They spent the evening dining in silent, Talia barely said ten words to her. And what was worse, the fact that they both were telepaths and Ivanova felt everything that Talia was feeling, and had a vague idea of what she was thinking. Though the telepath had put her block up, and held it tightly in place. It was some kind of a torture. To know that she caused the woman she loved so much pain, and confusion. Or the fact that Talia put the block up with her. She was grateful that at the very least, she allowed her to stay the night, instead of telling her to spend the night apart.

A low moaned emitted from the full lips, the telepath stirred briefly. She rolled over, shifting onto her back. The motions pulled Ivanova out of her muse she looked down and saw that beneath those tightly close lids, Taliaís eyes were moving around.

She was dreaming.

Susan wanted to get inside her mind, to know what she was dreaming about, whether it was good or bad. Then she decided against it, she didnít think she had a right to do that. After what she did, she didnít even have a right to hold her like this.

Suddenly Talia threw an arm over her torso, the same gesture she always did every night when they sleep together. The telepath would hold on to her, snuggled close as if she took comfort from the proximity, and warmth. Ivanova touched her cheek with her hand, and kissed her forehead.

She decided that tomorrow she would start the process of wooing her. She didnít know if it would be successful and earn her forgiveness or not. Because Susan Ivanova had never actually did this before. Never one that interested in becoming involved with anyone that she had to woo.

Well, it always worth a try.

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

The first thing Ivanova did as soon as she left for work in the morning was headed straight to the flower shop. She ordered roses to be send to the telepathís quarters. The amount of roses she ordered left the man staring at her in shock.

For one he had never saw Ivanova pass his shop before, let alone ordered a hundred roses for someone. He didnít know her of course. Unlike the Security Chief, Michael Garibaldi, Ivanova did not go around the station familiarized herself with every single shop owner. They might be able to tell who she was from the uniform and rank insignia on her chest, but that was all. Or they might know of her reputation at work. It a place like this it was the usual thing one could expect.

All day long Ivanova found herself shifting from one foot to another, anxious about what the telepath would think of the flowers she sent. For others she looked agitate, when there was no ship docking, or waiting for the docking procedure she would pace back and fort in front of her console. One minute she would sit down in her chair, another she would get up and started to pace again.

Lt. Corwin watched all this with interest, he knew that everyone else on the Observation Dome did too. He tried to think about what could possibly make the Second in Commander of the station got this anxious, and restless. He had never seen his commanding officer like this before. Not even when things got tense. She would be totally calm and collected, he didnít think that he ever saw her this agitated before.

Ivanova was trying to think of what she should do next, that the roses accompanied with note wouldnít be enough. She thought about what Talia would like, what type of candy, clothes. Then she realized that she had never taken her time to ask, or find out what the telepath really like.

The thought stopped her dead in her tracks. Sadly, she wondered how could Talia tolerate her for this long. How could the telepath put up with her even when she was in the darkest mood, and everyone else ran away just because she walked into the room.

Ivanova looked down at the console, lost in her own thought. She could feel the thoughts of people around her. Her block was stronger now, she could keep all the emotions, and thoughts out excepted the stronger ones. All because of Talia, the telepath put up with her every whim. Her anger and frustration, which flared every time she failed to block all the voices out.

Thinking of how many nights she had to stay up with her when the nightmares came.

She realized just how big a mistake she made last night. How could she ever think that the telepath would ever think of such a thing.

"Stupid," she muttered under her breath.

It was not a loud comment, but it was loud enough for the Commander who was approaching her to hear. Sinclair did a double take at the remark, he didnít think that she knew he was right behind her. If she did, she didnít show.

"I hope that wasnít for me, Lt. Commander." He said with a humor undertone to his voice.

Ivanova turned back sharply, startled. She didnít hear him of course, having been deep in her own thought. Apparently too deep to hear any presence in her mind got stronger.

"No, sir. That wasnít for you." She said quickly, tried to hide her fluster.

Sincalir, as always, smiling faintly at her. He looked a little worry about something.

For a minute there she wondered if the Commander had made a habit of checking up on her in C&C. She knew Sinclair trusted her in every decision she made, and there was nothing he did to indicate he thought otherwise.

Still, she felt a little annoy at the way he had to sneak up on her.

"Is there something, Commander?"

"Iíd like to talk to you about something."

Ivanova nodded didnít know what to expect. Of course, she could scan him, but that was not a wise course of action. The Commander would know the instant she entered his mind. Like what Talia told her, once the personís mind had been entered so many times, the person would learn to recognize the strange presence in his mind. Which was why she must not enter anyoneís mind.

She stood in place, but turned away from her console to face him. Sinclair knew that whatever it was that he wanted to talk to her about was expected to be out here. This would not be appropriate, he thought.

"In my office."

"Yes, sir."

She motioned the Lieutenant to take over, then left the Command and Control room behind her Commanding Officer.

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

Talia Winters was reading a stack of transparencies regarded her new assignment. Another boring negotiation, not to mention that it was probably futile.

She was having a hard time concentrating. What happened last night was disturbing her greatly, she didnít understand why Ivanova got that angry over the fact that she actually had a friend. Even if that friend had intention to try to become more than just a mere friend.

She didnít think that the Lt. Commander knew that.

She had never thought of Ivanova as a jealousy type before. Had all the love she gave her, all the devotion that was so clearly shown not enough?

A door chime startled her. Quickly Talia threw the transparencies on to her desk, and she got up, walked over to the door.

"Yes?"

"Flower delivery."

Talia pressed the button at the panel next to the door once, and the door slid open. Outside standing was a young man with a big bouquet of roses in his arms.

"Ms. Winters?" He asked, a padd in one hand.

The telepath simply nodded, she was a little more than just surprised as she received the bouquet from the delivery boy.

"If you would sign this please." He said in monotone.

Talia sighed the receive, and watched as he turned and walked away.

When the door slid shut she walked back to where she was sitting before she was interrupted. She inhaled deeply the sweet scent of the flowers. There was a card depended on the bouquet. She didnít have to guess to know who sent the roses.

The telepath set the roses down on the dining table, and opened the card. Inside was the small and neat handwriting.

You were the one
I was dreaming of all my life
When it is dark
You are my light
Some day you came
And I know you were the one
You were the rain
You were the sun
But I need both
ĎCause I need you.
-Susan

Despite the fact that she was still mad at her for the way she behaved the previous night, she couldnít help but smile. She knew that Ivanova was actually very romantic, but didnít know that she could be so sweet when the situation called for. But after all she was the one at fault here.

Talia knew how expensive the flowers on Babylon 5 were, especially roses. A big bouquet like this would cost a fortune for the Lt. Commander. And to order them in large quantity like this on the short notice... she hoped Ivanova didnít threaten anyone for her to get these flowers.

She took a long moment admired how beautiful they were. How sweet the smell. It amused her a little at the fact that Ivanova knew how to woo a woman, no... to woo anyone. Then she put them in the crystal vase, arranging them to show off their perfection. She set them down on the low coffee table, so that she could look at them while reading all the tedious information about the trade agreement.

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

"Commander?"

Sinclair sat in his chair, he motioned her to do the same at the opposite seat, across from where he was sitting. Obligingly Ivanova sat down, she was a little apprehensive about what he wanted to talk about. She was hoping that whatever it was, was not about the personal nature. Though that seemed to be highly likely what he wanted to know for the last months or so.

"Well?" she prompted.

"Lt. Commander... Susan." He started.

Ivanova seemed a little surprised at the use of her given name. This is not good, she thought.

"I have known you for some time now, and I considered you a friend."

She nodded, acknowledged the statement. Indicated that she too, thought the same.

"Iíve noticed the mood swing that you have recently."

"Iím not sure I understand what you mean." Ivanova said slowly, she wasnít going to give in.

"Come on, Ivanova. Not just me and Garibaldi that noticed youíve become very cheerful, happy..." He paused for a good measure. "Something I didnít associate with you." The last sentence was laced heavily with humor.

"Well, thanks a lot." She said dryly.

"Really, I mean. Youíve always been so uptight. Iím glad that you are happy, even though I donít know what brought it about."

"Thank you."

"But today, you seem... distracted. Iím worry. Not just me, but Garibaldi was worried about you also."

He leaned back into his chair, he didnít think he would give him any detail about what was going on in her life. Though he was surprised that he didnít hear anything about her. Love life or otherwise. Babylon 5 was a self-contained and with a quarter of million lives from all over, but each community was quite distinctive from another. Rumors were something that never hard to find, if something happened there was always a talk and speculations.

This was different, there was no rumor, or anything regarded her off duty time for that matter. It was too quiet, that made him think that something was going on and it effected her in a big way.

"It was nothing really, Commander. You donít have to worry that I might grab PPG and start shooting when those goons started to bother me." Then she added, "well, I might just hurt them, a little."

"Thatís good to know." Sinclair chuckled deep in his throat. He was always appreciated her sense of humor. It was very unique compared to most people.

Then he sat up, straightened in his chair.

"I just want you to know that if anything happens and you want to talk about it. Iím always here, and Iím willing to listen."

Ivanova nodded, she appreciated this greatly. She respected Sinclair in his abilities to put people at ease, and the way that he genuinely concerned about people around him.

"Iíll keep that in mind, thank you." She said sincerely. "Is there anything else?"

"No," he shook his head slightly. "Thatíll be all."

She nodded a farewell, and got up to leave the room.

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

Susan looked at the time-piece on her wrist, she could take a break now. Sighing deeply, she didnít know if she should go back to the telepathís quarters and look for her. Or she should just get a cup of coffee and relax a bit, then get back to work.

Considered for a moment, she thought that she should give the telepath some time before show up. Talia might think that she was spying on her. So, she decided to go to the Eclipse café in Zocalo. A decent cup of coffee might help her mood a little.

A few minutes later Ivanova sat at the table in the small café, she ordered a cup of coffee and settled in for wait. In her hand was a report that she brought from C&C, she decided to read that while waiting for her drink to arrive. A few minutes later the waiter brought her coffee to her. She never really like the coffee on this station, but at the very least it was hot.

Taking a sip of her coffee, Ivanova continued to read the report. It was the same old things, complains about various things on the station. Docking bay especially. Sheíd have to pass on the reports and complains to the Commander later. He wasnít going to like this, she knew.

The doors to transporter slid open, the telepath made an exit. She just came off another trade negotiation, there was very little chance both parties would agree anytime soon. So, they took a reset for the day. Talia was glad they decided that, she didnít think she would last any longer than this. Immediately she saw the Second in Command of the station sat in the corner, sipping her drink. Coffee, Talia knew at the time like this it was the only drink Ivanova would indulge in.

She could see those eyebrows furrowed in concentration and dismay. She approached the table slowly, Talia no longer angry at her, since she woke up in the morning and found the Lt. Commander held her so tight, the worried expression didnít leave her face, even when she was sleeping.

Ivanova looked up from the paper when she felt the familiar presence of the telepath. A smile spread across her face, then it replaced with uncertainty. As she remembered what she had done last night. Talia smiled back at her, it was the same sweet smile, the same one she always offered to her, and only her.

"Hi," Talia greeted cheerfully.

"Ah, hi." Ivanova said quickly then got up to pull the chair out for her. "Here sit."

The telepath sat down beside her, the waiter came over immediately to take her order. She gave him the order then turned back to Ivanova.

"Thank you for the flowers, they were beautiful."

"Iím glad you like them."

Talia opened her mouth when the waiter brought her a drink she ordered. She murmured a thank you as he placed it before her. Ivanova put her report down, completely lost interest in them. Not that she interested it them in the first place, and now there was something even better to concentrate on.

"So, do you have anything plan for tonight?"

The telepath asked casually, sipping her drink. The Lt. Commander stared at her for a moment, and she looked down, then up again.

"Well, I made a reservation in Fresh Air, if you didnít have any extensive negotiation for the afternoon..."

Taliaís eyebrows raised, Ivanova usually asked her before she made any reservation for Fresh Air. The finest restaurant on the station was quite busy at the best of time, reservation had to be made days in advance. She suspected that if the Lt. Commander had made it in the morning then it was clear that she had pulled rank to get the table in the same day.

"When did you make the reservation? I didnít remember you mention anything about this."

"I... made it this morning before I leave for work."

The telepath stiffled a sigh. Now she knew that the Lt. Commander was trying to make up for what she had done the previous night. She wished that Ivanova did this for her because she wanted to, not because she did something wrong and tried to make up for it. Though this was a very nice accommodation.

"Susan, why didnít you tell me this morning. What if I have a meeting schedule for the afternoon and I canít go with you?"

Ivanova looked startle, she put the coffee cup that she had been holding down.

"I thought... Iíll surprise you." Then, she looked at Talia with pleading eyes, her bright blue eyes softened, the look that could always melt her heart. "You donít have any meeting in the afternoon do you?" She asked.

Talia was quiet for a moment, appeared to be thinking. Ivanova felt her heart pounding, and felt incredibly stupid. She shouldíve asked her before hand, but that was too late now. The reservation was going to have to be cancel, she was sure of it.

A small, sly grin appeared on the beautiful face, she got her. She absolutely got her. The telepath wasnít in the habit of teasing her lover like this. It was nice to see Susan squirmed every once in a while, but she would rather be accommodative to her. She never liked to play this sort of game anyway. Life was too short.

"I donít have any meeting, at least I donít think I do."

"I donít have to cancel?" Ivanova asked immediately, her expression brightened considerably.

Talia thought that the Lt. Commander looked like a small child, who had gotten something she wanted. Thing she thought she didnít really deserve.

"No, you donít have to." Talia smiled at her gently. "What time?"

"Nineteen-hundred hour. Iíll pick you up at your quarters." Ivanova said with a whole lot of enthusiasm.

"Iíll be waiting." Talia responded gently.

She noticed that Ivanova seemed a lot happier than this morning. There was a smile played about her lips, the uncertainty was still there, but less pronounced. They sat there in silent, it was quite comfortable as the conversations from other people floating around them. The background noises humming in the distance.

Claudia Fletcher was down the corridor. She was dressed in her tailor suit, dark brown jacket and short skirt. She just got out of the follow up on the negotiation. Walking along all the coffee shops, and small stores. She saw a familiar figure at the small café. Her back turned to her.

Talia Winters.

Quickly, she approached her, as soon as she moved closer, she saw another person sat next to her. A woman dressed in EarthForce uniform, her long, chestnut hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. Fletcher wondered who was the woman, and thought that she looked familiar somehow.

Well, it doesnít hurt to make a new friend every now and then.

Ivanova looked up from the conversation she had with the telepath, a woman was approaching them. Talia followed her line of sight, she swallowed hard as she saw who it was that the Lt. Commander was looking at. Then, she looked back at Susan.

Susan?

Itís all right, Talia. I wonít do anything to embarrass you. I promise.

Talia nodded once.

"Ms. Winters." Fletcher greeted her, she was standing at the table now.

"Ms. Fletcher, nice to see you." Talia returned with a small, impersonal smile.

Then the woman turned to Ivanova, who observed the reaction of her love carefully. She saw nothing in the tone of voice or the smile. She was a little startled when the woman offered her a hand.

"Hi, Iím Fletcher, Claudia Fletcher. And you?"

"Ivanova, Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova."

The Lt. Commander shook her hand firmly, she replied the introduction politely. Her face betrayed no expression. After all she was a Second in Command of the station.

Talia politely invited her to stay, from the corner of her eye she saw Ivanovaís expression strickened.

Susan, sheís my client. The telepath sent. I have to be polite.

Sorry, I just thought that I could spend some time with you without any interruption.

Fletcher looked at Ivanova, then she remembered where she had seen her from. When she knew that she was assigned to Babylon 5, she immediately do the research of the station. She wanted to know as much as she could about the station, business, and command staff. Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova was the Second in Command of the station. There was no personal profile to the research she did, however, only the brief introduction.

Ivanova opened her mouth to offer something in the way of continue conversation when her link gave out a signal. An annoyance sigh escaped her lips.

"Ivanova, here." She pressed the link on the back of her hand, and lift it up to her mouth.

"Lt. Commander, this is C&C." The voice of Corwin responded. "The captain of Centauri transporter that came in a few minutes ago demanded to see someone of a command rank."

"What did he want?" Ivanova barked into her link, her command mask slapped into place so quick that it left the telepah looking stun.

Talia had seen her while working once, when she stepped into C&C that day. She knew that the Lt. Commander commanded her subordinates with her presence, she could feel that. And she had seen her without any command mask on. When they were together, Susan was all relax, and quite playful. She knew the different. However she had never see the transition in front of her eyes like this.

And she realized how lucky she was that the Lt. Commander allowed her to see the vulnerable part of her. To be a part of her that she kept away from everyone else.

"I think he wanted to complain about the docking bay, sir."

The frowned on Ivanovaís face got a little deeper. This was her break, and she didnít even finish her coffee yet. For a minute there she was going to tell him to call the Commander instead. Then decided against it.

"Tell him, if he had a problem with what we assigned for him he could just park out there in the space." She said coldly. "Ivanova out."

She cut the transmission and returned to her companions.

"What was that all about?" The telepath asked dryly.

"Complain about docking bay, the usual. Just what I need another complain."

"Wonít you get in trouble?" Fletcher asked suddenly.

"If the complains about docking bay get us in trouble with EarthForce weíll all got busted back to cadets ten times over." Ivanova replied indifferently, and took one last sip of her coffee.

"If youíll excuse me, I have a Centauri to dismember." Ivanova joked as she looked at her time-piece.

The break was over, and she knew that the Centauri captain would continue to complain. So, she might as well be there to tell him exactly what was going to happen if he continue to be difficult.

Iíll see you later then. Talia sent.

I love you.

Ivanova gave her an impersonal smile, one that she gave her when there was someone else around. Then she got up, but before she could walk away.

"Itís nice to meet you, Lt. Commander." Fletcher said after her.

Obligingly, Ivanova turned around and gave her a nod. Then she disappeared into the crowd.

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

"Lieutenant, report."

The Lt. Commander said as she walked briskly toward her station.

"The Centauri captain agreed to take the docking bay we had arranged for him." Lt. Corwin reported to her, his eyes fixed on the console in front of him. "Of course, after we told him that if he didnít like what he got he could park in the space." He added.

"Good." Ivanova said, paid no attention to his joke.

She stopped in front of her console, the Lieutenant handed the command back to her, and she walked back to her own console.

A few minutes ago she was thinking of the problem with the transporterís captain, now he no longer complain about the docking bay that he was scheduled to; she found herself thinking about something else. She thought that she shouldnít have left the café, that she shouldíve stay until the woman leave.

She caught herself before she felt anything in the way of previous night. This was not right, she trusted Talia. Trust was what it was all about in their relationship. She could trust Talia in this, just like she trusted Talia about her secret.

When she reminded herself of that she could breathe a little easier. Still she didnít like the woman, Claudia Fletcher. Something about the woman was annoyed her. Maybe because the woman looked a little presumptuous to her. She was undisturbed at her presence, and she seemed sure of herself.

Claudia Fletcher seemed like the kind of person that thought they could get everything their own way. Without knowing what she was doing, Ivanova started for the console in the back of the room, where the Commanderís station was located.

Every eye in the room centered on her, wondering what was got into her to make her so agitated. Ivanova sank into the chair, hands running over the console. She called up a file, a stationís habitat files.

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

Winters found herself in the awkward position when the Lt. Commander left. She knew that even though Susan was a very strong character there was still things that made her feel insecure. Talia had found out that she was the very thing that the Lt. Commander feeling insecure about.

She couldnít put the rational thought into it, she didnít understand what would made Ivanova think that. What would make Ivanova feel so insecure about her love for her. She sighed quietly, totally forgot about the companion that she still had.

"Are you all right?" Asked, Fletcher.

The woman was sitting quietly, her drink had just arrived. She saw Talia Wintersí eyes followed the Second in Command of the station when she got up and left. She wondered if this was the reason why the telepath rejected her invitation twice.

Talia Winters was after all, a telepath. She certainly knew what she was thinking, Fletcher thought that it would make it all easier. Since she didnít have to give her a hint of what she wanted. Some people that she knew werenít very good at taking hints.

Talia turned sharply at the question, she had forgotten that Claudia Fletcher was still at the table with her. Her cheek flushed slightly with embarrassment. She reminded herself not to show anything too much.

"Iím fine, Ms. Fletcher. I was just thinking about something."

Fletcher simply nodded in acceptance.

"How long have you known Lt. Commander Ivanova?" Fletcher asked casually, in a way of starting a conversation.

"Iíve known her for quite some time now." Talia said, leaning back in her seat, she tried to look as casual as possible.

"She didnít like me."

The telepathís eyebrows raised at the remark. It was true, but she didnít think she should say that.

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, it just the feeling." Fletcher shrugged, taking a sip of her drink.

"Lt. Commander Ivanova wasnít the easiest person to get close to. I can tell you that much."

"Ah, is that a voice of experience?"

Talia smiled at her, said nothing. In a way it was the answer to the question.

"How hard do I have to work to get her to like me?" Fletcher asked, her tone teasing.

Talia quirked her eyebrows. It was strange to have someone asking her that, most of people on the station would never thought of asking her about the Lt. Commander. It was a quite well known fact that Ivanova didnít like telepaths, any telepath. A flesh of laughter bubbled within her when she thought about that. She was glad, more than glad to be the exception.

"Why do you ask me that?"

"Well, she likes you. If I know how to read people at all, which I do." She paused, and said again firmly "She likes you."

"I sure hope so, since sheís my friend."

Fletcher grinned, her eyes twinkled with mischief. Thereís another way to get to Talia Winters. If they had a common friend, she was sure that she could get the telepath to go out with her. And Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova was a start.

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

Ivanova stood in front of the door, trying to decide if she should just use her card to open the door, or ring the bell. In the usual circumstance she would just use her card, but it didnít seem right somehow.

So, she rang the bell.

"Come on in, Susan." A voice floated from the intercom.

The door slid open, Ivanova stepped inside.

"I was wondering how long you are going to stand there, and debating."

Talia said, a soft, teasing smile played about her lips. She was standing at the mirror, putting her earrings on. The telepath was dressed in a long, silky sapphire number. The color set off the color of her eyes, the deep blue eyes looked so bright.

I could get lose in them, and never find my way home. Ivanova thought.

Talia was still looking at the mirror, a smile touched her lips when she saw the Lt. Commander staring at her. She caught her thought readily, but she did not think that Ivanova realized it. The telepath turned around slowly.

Handed an earring to her. "Put this on for me, would you please?"

Ivanova took the earring and moved closer to her. Talia was wearing a pair of high heels with made her slightly taller than the Lt. Commander herself.

While the telepath was dressed in a long gown, Ivanova on the other hand, was wearing a pair of slack, and black silk shirt. Her hair flowing down her back, slightly curvy. Around her neck was a fine gold chain.

Talia leaned close to her, their faces almost touching as Ivanova putting the earring on for her. The telepath rested both hands over her shoulders. Ivanova inhaled deeply the sweet scent of the perfume Talia used. She had always liked that fragrance. It was very much like Talia.

Ivanova dropped her hand to her side when she was done with the earring.

"Thank you." Talia said and she stepped back.

She smiled as Ivanova made a face, a disappointed expression came over, just for a fracture of a second. As soon as it showed, it was gone. The telepath decided that she teased her long enough, so she leaned over and kissed her softly.

"Iím ready," she said. "Can we go now?"

The Lt. Commander looked a little startled, and she quickly replied. "Ah. Yes, we can go now."

Talia put her gloves on, as she exited her quarters, Ivanova followed right behind her.

"Susan," the telepath started as they waited for the transporter tube.

"Yes?"

"Is something on your mind?"

Ivanova who was a little uncertain about the whole thing startled at the question. She didnít really have anything on her mind but the telepath. She was worried that Talia was still angry with her. She was trying to think about the things that she could do to fix the situation.

At first she was going to tell her something else other than the truth. Then, it occurred to her that it would not do to lie to her. Talia would find out later, or rather right the way. They had bounded to each other to the point that Talia didnít need to be close to her to hear her thoughts.

Talia waited patiently for Susan to tell her, she got some idea of what the Lt. Commander was thinking about, and even though they were lovers she still valued her privacy. Talia did not want to violate that, not to anyone, and especially not to Susan.

The doors led to transporter tube slid opened and they stepped in. Ivanova took a deep breath, waiting for the doors to close before speaking.

"IÖ actually I was worrying about you." She said, her eyes downcast.

"Why?"

The telepath moved closer to her, provided that there were no one in there with them at the moment. She put a hand over her shoulder.

"I wasÖ What I did last night was stupid, and I was afraid that you could never forgive me for what I did."

Ivanova kept her eyes downcast, too afraid to look at her lover at the moment, afraid of what she might find there.

Talia smiled softly, sometimes she found Susan to be the most insecure person she had ever met. That because she had never opened up to anyone. Once she did there was a little girl inside who always thought that she would lose everything she had because she was never meant to have it.

"Susan, look at me."

Hesitated for a second, Ivanova looked up slowly. She found the telepath smiling at her.

I love you, Susan. I would forgive you for anything.

I love you too, Talia. Iím sorry. Iím really sorry

Her words were accompanied by deep gratitude. They looked at each other while the transporter brought them to their destination. Once it reached the computer announced their destination, and the doors slid opened, granted them an exit.

Ivanova was looking much better than a few minutes ago. There was a smile on her lips as she led Talia into the finest restaurant on the station.

"Good evening, Lt. Commander." The waiter greeted her politely, for he knew who she was, then he turned to the telepath. "Good evening maíam."

They both gave him a nod in a way of greeting.

"Your table is ready, if you would come this way."

He led them inside. The restaurant was not yet crowded up, because it was still a little early, and

Susan had reserved a table in the quiet corner of the place. The waiter handed them menus and Susan ordered wine for both of them.

"Right the way, maíam."

Talia sat back, looking at the Lt. Commander while she was reading through her menu. An amusement did not lose on Ivanova.

She looked up.

"What?"

"Nothing." Talia shook her head, and looked down at the menu.

She didnít know what she should order, and while she pretended to be interest in the items on the menu, Susan was watching her, and trying to be discrete about it. Lights in the place were dim, there was one candle lit on their table. The light flickered, flame dancing from the recycling system casting shadow on the beautiful face. The long eyelashes cast butterflies shadow on her high cheekbones.

You are so beautiful, she sent.

Talia looked up sharply, she blushed slightly at the compliment. Before she could reply the waiter brought them their drinks. Talia accepted it with a slight nod, while Ivanova grinning at her from across the table. Ivanova murmured a thank you when the drink was placed in front of her. She had her elbows rested on top of the table, the candle light brought out the highlight of her long, chestnut hair. Talia wanted very much to bury her face in it. She turned to her drink, for it was all she could do to prevent herself from doing it.

They stopped talking, seemingly contented in looking at one another. The Lt. Commander was totally disregarded the fact that there might be someone from the command staffs or someone that knew her personally, and they could be watching. Since, the way she looked at Talia right now was not exactly friendly in the slightest.

Under the table, Talia hooked Susanís ankle with hers, and gently tugged. In respond Ivanova pulled her chair closer, as close as she could with the table between them.

A few minutes later after they had ordered their meals, the waiter brought their meals to them. The couple ate in silent, they contented to only looking at each other. Communication kept to telepathic only, so no one would be able to hear anything that would provide them with the clue to what they were to each other.

While eating, Ivanova couldnít help watching her companion. Couldnít keep her eyes off her. Talia looked so beautiful, her dress brought out the color of her eyes. She could see the fire danced in them. They didnít linger on the meals for too long, because they werenít able to show any affectionate gesture that they wanted to in the public place such as this.

It was quite restricted.  

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Back in the Lt. Commanderís quarters, Ivanova went over to the counter in kitchenette. She insisted that Talia sat down and relaxed, and she would get them some wine. Actually she wanted vodka at the moment, but it would do her no good if she annoy the telepath with that this night. What she did not know was that, Talia had no problem with what her drink was as long as she did not get herself drunk.

Ivanova picked the wine bottle up, she opened it with little difficulty, the cock came out with a quiet pop. The Lt. Commander took two glasses out of the cabinet and poured the ruby, red liquid into them.

Talia sat back on the couch, watching the Lt. Commanderís every move. Then she remembered that she had bought her a sweater, and that it still remained in her drawer. That would have to wait until later, she decided. The telepath leaned back, crossed her legs modestly, she folded her hands and rested them on her knees. She was enjoying the sight of Ivanova with her hair down. Those loose strands fell about her face, cascaded down her back.

She had always like that black silk shirt on Susan for the reason she could not explain. She knew that it was Lt. Commanderís favorite as well. A few moments later Ivanova picked the glasses up in both hands and came straight at her.

Talia excepted the chilled glass as Ivanova sat down next to her. The telepath smiled softly when she felt the arm draped casually over her shoulders.

The dinner was lovely, thank you.

Ivanova looked at her, smiling widely.

"Iím glad, I thought for a minute there that you were going to cancel it the last minute."

She said it out loud instead of send it telepathically. She had never really gotten used to it anyway, and she really liked listening to Taliaís voice. The deep smoky voice, spoken softly in her ear.

"Why would I do that?"

"I donít know, I justÖ"

Ivanova shrugged slightly, trying not to show the insecurity that she actually felt. Talia looked at her, and sighed softly, again she felt that same insecurity. She knew Susan was trying to hide that insecurity from her, it would have work if they both were not telepaths. Sometimes she thought that Ivanova forgot about the fact that she was another telepath.

She sat the glass down on the low coffee table, then snuggled even closer to her, she wrapped both arms around the slim waist.

"Whatís wrong, mon chéri?"

"No, nothing."

"Yes, something is." Talia said firmly. "You were feeling insecure."

"HowÖ" Ivanova started then frowned. "Why did I ask, you are a telepath, of course youíd know."

The telepath smiled at her, she was a little amused at her words. "You know, sometimes I think that you forget."

"Forget about?" Ivanova pretended that she didnít know what Talia was talking about. It was true, sometimes she forgot that they both were telepaths, and since they were involved the bond between them was very strong. Strong enough that she could send her thought to Talia from faraway if she was very focus.

Talia slapped her arm gently, a mock-annoyance expression on her face. "Donít pretend that you donít know what I was talking about."

Ivanova caught her hand in a loose grip. "Pretend about what?"

"I think sometimes you forget that we both are telepaths. Whatever you were feelings I get a glimpse of them too."

"Well, you knowÖ I guess Iím not use to the fact yet." Susan sighed softly, actually she still thought that it was all just a nightmare. Then, she looked at Talia.

The only thing that worth all the pain.

"I know it still difficult for you."

"Sometimes," Ivanova agreed.

She was glad that she could get off the topic of insecurity, she didnít want to discuss about any of it. She didnít want to know why she was so insecure, not now anyway. It would be enough time for that later, now she just wanted to be here like this.

"You know, Ms. Fletcher thought that you didnít like her."

"Really? What was her clue?" The Lt. Commander asked dryly.

"I donít know, she just mentioned it when you left." The telepath said casually, taking a sip from her glass as Ivanova finished hers.

"Can we not talk about her?"

Taliaís brow lifted in a half amusing and half questioned. "All right, then what are we going to talk about?"

"You and me."

She said and kissed her gently, took her wineglass and placed it on the coffee table without losing a touch.

"Do you know how much I wanted to kiss you at the restaurant?" She asked between kisses. "How much I wanted to just push the table away so you could be closer to me?"

"I knowÖ" Talia responded, "I know."

Ivanova nibbled her bottom lip gently, her hands ran over the sinuous back covered with silk. She liked the feel of it, but she liked touched her soft skin without it even more. Slowly she pulled the telepathís lithe body up on her lap and Talia wrapped both arms around her neck for balance. She enjoyed the feel of soft body against her own.

Ivanova loosened the silky blond hair out of the clip that Talia used to hold her shoulder length blond hair together. She ran her fingers through the soft hair with pleasure, enjoying the silky smooth texture slipped through her long digits.

Susan left the soft, full lips and placed kisses along her cheek and chin. She nibbled at the soft underside of her chin. She cupped the back of her head in one hand, and reached down to the small of her back with the other.

Talia let out a little sigh of contentment. She loved every sensation Susan created in her, the gentle tenderness that the Lt. Commander showed her. The feel of lips and tongue that caressed her soft, sensitive skin was almost too much to bear. The telepath let her head fall back, she breathe deeply as the skilled mouth nibbling its way downward.

Ivanova kissed at the pale neck to its base, and she took the soft flesh between her teeth, biting, and suckling gently. A smile formed on her mouth as she heard a soft moan from the telepath. She used one hand to support Taliaís back and she cupped her breast in one hand. She felt a distinct knob formed from a rather smooth surface, and she rubbed it with her thumb.

Talia let out a breathe, then she arched her back slightly, a hand clasped over Susanís, wanting more of her touch. The suction on her neck was making her crazy from need. A hand that caressed her right breast was starting a gently squeezing rhythm.

Oh, Susan.

TaliaÖ

That feels good, donít stopÖ

I want you to feel good.

Ivanova left the spot where she had been indulged in and reached up to capture those lush lips again. She part the soft lips with her the tip of her tongue, tasting her as deep as she could. Ivanova prolonged the kiss as she enjoyed the feel of different texture with her tongue.

Talia opened her mouth for the Lt. Commander; her eyes closed tight, her heart pounding in her chest, perspiration broke out throughout her body. Suddenly feeling entirely too warmed, and restricted in her garments.

A few long minutes later they broke apart, not because they tired of the kiss, but more from the needed air. Ivanova stared at her lover deeply in the eyes she felt as if she could just dove right in those deep blue eyes and never come up for air. She realized, not for the first time that Talia was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. The telepath was beautiful inside and out, and she knew that Talia was like a treasure that needed to be discovered by one that would appreciate the beauty. And that she was more than lucky to find her.

She was even luckier that the telepath allowed her to be the one.

The telepath was totally lost in the bright, piecing blue eyes of Susan. The Lt. Commanderís thoughts and emotions filling her mind, the moment stretched on to what seemed like an eternity. They both were staring at each other, letting their minds touched. Wanting to melt into each other, to become one.

Talia tangled her hands in thick, dark hair of the Lt. Commander, she loved how her hair flowed down her back, and how the lights brought out the highlight in it. Ivanova usually kept her hair braided tightly, or tied it up in a ponytail she rarely let it down unless she was by herself in private.

Slowly, they brought their faces closer together, and they met in a slow, soft, gentle kiss. Together, they decided without a word to cool it down a little, they had all night to be together and they wanted to take their time. Instead of dove into it and finished it off so quickly.

Susan made a soft sound in her throat, one of pleasure, she loved the way Talia caressed her hair, knowing that the telepath liked the texture and length of it. In truth she did not know why she had it long in the first place. Sometimes the length of it annoyed her, especially when she needed to be hurry for some emergency. However, if the length of her hair pleased Talia, she thought that then it was all worth the trouble. She leaned back into the caressing hands, it felt soothing, and also arousing at the same time.

For the first time in as many days she forgot all about the noises that came to be her constant companion. The night before she was so afraid that Talia would be very angry at her, so much that even as she was with the telepath, holding her in her arms she felt the voices echoed in her head more keenly than ever. It was the worse kind of torture, added up with the hurt she felt from her beloved.

She wished she would just dropped dead right then and there.

She realized that she had never understood how much Talia loved her until now. Ivanova knew that what she did was not acceptable, now ever, and had the relationship been casual, or had the telepath loved her less than she did, they wouldíve broken up by this time. She was ever so glad that it did not happen.

Iím so sorryÖ Ivanova sent. I didnít mean to hurt you, ever. I love you Talia.

Talia was a little surprised to hear that in her mind, she had been expecting anything but apologies. She didnít need it, being here, right here in her arms was enoughÖ more than enough for her.

I love you too, mon chéri. She replied softly, and sent a rush of love and comfort to her.

Iím sorry, so very sorry about what I did.

Donít beat yourself up for what already passed. I love you, please believe that.

I do, love. I doÖ

Talia cupped her cheeks in both palms and lift her face up then she placed a kiss on her forehead. They rested their foreheads against each other and maintained eyes contact.

"Donít you know how much I adore you?" Asked, the telepath.

Talia looked at her, her deep blue eyes soft and filled with adoration. Ivanova smiled back, thoroughly grateful, she had never meet anyone that was so acceptance like Talia, the telepath excepted her for who she was, that included the hard-to-put-up temper. All the lovers in the past that she had almost always had problems with that at one time on another, but she wasnít there with them long enough to really have anything serious, though she expected that if they prolonged the relationship something very unpleasant was going to happen.

"Susan."

Ivanova came back to focus quickly at the calling sound.

"You are worry too much."

She realized that she must have been frowning because the telepath was using her thumb to smooth over the area between her eyebrows. Ivanova smiled at her lover, it was the thing about being with someone that understood her well, she didnít think that it would be the same with other people even if she got involved with another telepath.

"Well, itís a Russian thing."

She saw Taliaís eyebrows shot up in amusement. Then they both laughed together. It was one thing that Ivanova said often, more often than anything else. When they finally stopped the telepath leaned back slightly to look at her.

"Maybe I can stop you from worrying?" Talia said and pulled her face close, her voice dropped low.

"You can stop me from thinking period." Ivanova replied and kissed her.

She parted her lips, allowing their tongues to touch, tasting each other deep. The telepath moaned softly as she felt the wet tongue swirled around inside her mouth, teasing and tasting. They both knew where they were heading and it was time to escalate things.

I want you so much.

Then take meÖ

Abruptly, the telepath broke the kiss, and stood up. She reached out a hand to the Lt. Commander who was a little stunned at the abrupt motions. Ivanova quickly accepted the proffered hand and pulled herself up from the couch.

The night had just begun.

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

Ivanova and Talia stood facing each other beside the Lt. Commanderís double bed. Slowly, deliberately the telepath reached behind and unzipped the back of her dress, her eyes never left the bright blue ones that looked back at her.

Sensually and agonizingly slow, Talia slipped the top of her dress down to her waist, revealed her pale shoulders and her full breasts clad in silk bra, she paused for a moment to look at the Lt. Commander. Susanís face was flushed, her breathing heavy, she reached out to help take the dress off her.

"No," Talia stopped her with a raise of her hand. Stand still.

Immediately, Ivanova dropped both hands to her sides, she struggled to stay still, wanting so much to just tear her clothes off her, and throw her into bed. A wicked grin came upon the lush lips as Talia pushed her garments pass her hips, underneath there were matching silk panties, stockings held up by garter belt.

Ivanova felt her breath caught in her chest at the sight, the telepath looked so sexy, and she found herself at the short end of her patience. She reached up to unbutton her shirt, wanted to get it over with as quick as possible.

Donít, Talia stopped her. Iíll take care of that for you.

Obediently, Ivanova dropped her hands at her sides once more. This was going to be the longest few moments of her life. To watch her beloved undressing in the agonizingly slow rate and she couldn't speed up the process by undress herself. Talia was going to tease her until she begged for it, she knew. Maybe this was a good time to exercise her patience it was her only option.

She had no other choice.

Ivanova kept her eyes on the telepath's hands, her long fingers moving slowly, she was mesmerized. The telepath took off her bra and tossed them aside into the pile of clothing that had landed before. She crossed her arm over her chest, her eyes never left the Lt. Commander, almost as if she was pinning her in place with those deep blue orbs.

TaliaÖ

Ivanova swallowed hard she felt her mouth gone dried, her throat closed up, she wanted very badly to touch her, to feel that silky soft skin with her fingertips. Talia just smiled at her and slid her underwear down passed her long legs, and soon the rest of her underwear joined those on the floor. Talia stepped close to her, and threw her arms around her neck. Susan slid her arms around her waist, holding her lightly. They kissed, there was no gentleness just the raw passion from the Lt. Commander. The long waited made her wanted to devour the woman, wanted to taste every inch of her beautiful body.

Finally Talia pushed her away.

"You're turn." She whispered low in her throat, making Susan's knees went weak.

With nimble fingers, she unbuttoned her shirt, not so slow this time. Apparently, her patient was at an end also. Quickly Ivanova had her shirt came off of her, she placed both hands on the telepath's shoulder to keep her balance as Talia kneel down to undone her slack, soon the loose fitting trousers fell down around her ankles and she stepped out of them. Talia urged her to sit down on the mattress, she did and her socks came off next, the shoes had been off long before this point. When they were off she pulled Talia up to straddled her lap. Talia bent down and took captured her lips in a deep, breathless kiss. Devouring her with passion fueled by the foreplay.

It had been quite sometime that they could make love, the previous night occurrence had left them uneasy, confusion and hurt on the telepath's part. They were not able to get it out of the way enough to initiate anything physical.

I want youÖ I need you so muchÖ

Take me, Susan. Take meÖ

Ivanova back up on the mattress without losing the contact, with eased she rolled the telepath underneath her. She started kissing her from her forehead down to her cheeks and chin. She nibbled at the small indent at her chin, then she moved to her ear. At first she took a moment to looked at the delicate shell like beauty then she placed a kiss at the small spot just behind her ear, knowing that it would arouse her lover even more. Talia shivered at the touch, she felt something like electricity ran from the spot where Ivanova's lips touched down her toe and back up again. She felt the body above her shivered and she knew that Ivanova too, had felt it. Slowly, carefully she lower her block, pulling the more inexperience Ivanova inside her mind, let the love she felt for her echoed inside both their minds.

Ivanova paused briefly, even though they had made love numerous times she still felt startled on occasions, when her lover pulled her into her mind. It was the act more intimate than anything normal could ever hope to accomplish. Once the startle passed she let go of her block and let Talia all the way in, she felt wonders as she saw Talia's inner self. The telepath was so beautiful, she was so grateful to whatever that watched over Talia and that they made it to each other.

Ivanova made her way down, she placing a trail of kisses all the way. When she finally reached the juncture of her legs, slowly she gathered the moisture that forming with the tip of her tongue, tasting the light, salty sweet taste of her lover. The sensation was overwhelming that she had to stop for a second to compose herself. Self-control was something that she had lost often in this intimate encounter for she felt everything the telepath felt, every touched, every sensations. She kissed her silky soft inner things, and caressed them with her lips and tongue. Then she turned her attention back to the pool of moisture that awaited her. Gently she penetrated her, filling her with her long digits, and she was rewarded with a soft cry. The telepath arched her back up, needing more.

Susan was both surprised and admired at the telepathís ability to hold on for this long. Talia had yet to demand her for touches or caresses, she was certain that if the situation reversed she would be begging Talia to touch her right about now. Slowly, gradually, Ivanova caressed the silk slick interior with gentle strokes, and she felt hands tangled in her thick, dark hair. Apparently, from the length of their foreplay had the telepath at the end of her self-control fairly quickly. She took the little bundle of nerve ending between her lips and applied the slightest bit of pressure on it with the tip of her tongue.

Talia inhaled sharply, they hadnít been able to make love for quite a while now. The Lt. Commander had been quite busy for the pass few days and when she got back from her work she was practically asleep on her feet. And she didnít think it would be good for both of them to try to over exert themselves, so they could only held each other tight while they lay sleeping. When finally, they were able to, something came up. The occurrence from previous night had left them feeling uneasy and more confusion and hurt on her part. This was the first night they had time to spend together without any interference.

The telepath started to undulated against the moving hand, and though Susan was starting to get overwhelm by all the sensations and emotions she tried to hold on to her. There were a few times that she lost her consciousness and woke up to find the telepath looking at her with worried expression on her face, and she nearly contacted MedLab for medical assistance.

She couldnít even begin to imagine how humiliate that would be.

Ivanova closed her eyes tightly. She heard a voice from above her, calling out her name, over and over, the little whimpers telling her how her beloved liked her touches. Unlike Ivanova, the telepath was not so verbal in her appreciation, a soft cry was usually all she would hear from her.

You taste so perfectÖ Sent, Susan. Oh, Talia, you are so beautiful.

Susan increased the rhythm, and pressure of her hand and lips, she felt a surge went through the body beneath her. Reaching up with her free hand, Ivanova grabbed a hold on to the groping hand of Taliaís, their fingers entwined as their mind melt into one.

Suddenly, the whole universe disappeared, all that left were them, everything else fade away into the background. The boundaries between them disintegrated as the two telepaths joined their bodies and minds.

Talia pulled Susan up on top of her, she knew that it would not be too long before they both losing their coherent thoughts, and she wanted to hold Susanís body close to her. Ivanova looked up and let her lover pulled her up. Carefully she rested half of her body over the lithe form of Talia. She looked at her, watching her eyes flickering open and looked back at her. Their eyes held each otherís. Talia wrapped both arms around her, one hand tangled the thick, dark hair and pulled her face close. Lips touched and turned into deep passionate kiss, one that intended to devour each other.

The rhythm increased, the kiss prolonged as Susanís used her thumb to take up the caress where her lips left off. She felt the hand on her back gripped her harder, nails dug into the soft flesh of her back, but she ignored it totally, all she thought about now were the beautiful telepath, the sensations that swirled around inside her, the touches of their minds.

Suddenly Talia arched her back up, her whole body tensed, and she held Susan tight to her, needing her. At the same time Ivanova dropped her head down, buried her face into the mate of blond hair, she opened her mouth, trying to draw air in as she felt herself being swept up along side Talia. It all came crashing down on both of them swept them up high. In their minds they saw each other and themselves reflecting, light, dark, wonders.

They saw wonders, the perfection and flaw in each otherís soul. Thousands, millions of reflections enveloped them in glowing lights as they clung to each other until that one last pulse died down, left them feeling a little disoriented and left their bodies in a heap in the middle of crumbled sheet, and tangled of arms and legs.

They came down after a few long minutes, for a few moments there were only the sound of their breathing, trying to catch their breath. Ivanova swallowed hard against her dried throat, she rolled on to her back, and off the telepathís body. She turned her head to look at Talia. The telepath looked back at her, unable to speak.

Susan.

I love you.

A smiled came upon her lips as Talia caressed her cheek gently, the telepath rolled over and rested her head over her shoulder, placing a soft kiss on her collar bone. A whisper fine gold chain still hung around her long neck. She absently played with it.

"I love you, mon chéri."

She felt a slight vibration as Ivanova chuckled low in her throat.

"I love you, too."

Talia looked up at her and smiled. "What?" She asked.

"You are not going to make a habit out of calling me that, are you?

Talia lifted her head up, a little startled at the remark.

"You donít like that I call you that?"

"I didnít mean that, I justÖ It sounds too good. I guess."

It was Talia turned to laughed she didnít see that one coming at all. Then she kissed her.

"Nothing is too good for you, Susan."

The Lt. Commander lifted Talia up to rest on top of her, the soft body mold into hers every surface, and threw the blanket over them, whispering good-night to each other and drift off to sleep.

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

Ivanova lied on her back, her head supported by her arm as she watching the sleeping beauty that rested on top of her. Talia was still sound asleep, her face that rested side way totally relaxed, a hand that placed beside her face was half opened. She took a glance at the chrono-display on her nightstand, noted the time. She wasnít expected the computer to wake her up for another hour, or so.

It was a rare occasion that she had a chance to look at Taliaís sleeping face. The telepath usually was the one that woke up first, both of them had totally different attitude toward morning time. It was something that Talia often teased her with, while she cheerfully dressed in her outfit.

Susan lifted the opened hand on her chest up to her face, she ran her thumb in a circle on the opened palm. Talia had such beautiful hands, soft and warm, long fingers, well manicure nails usually hidden underneath the Psi dampening gloves. She kissed an opened palm and rested it on her chest once again. Looking at the sleeping face of Taliaís. The telepathís full lips were curled up at the corner, a small smile indicated that she had a wonderful dream. Gently she ran her fingers through the blond tresses, revealed in how soft and silky it was.

The slight caresses resulted in a stir of the sleeping woman, Ivanova froze as she heard a soft sigh from Talia. The telepath did not wake, however. She simply took a deep breath and went back to a deep sleep.

She must be very tired.

Ivanova wrapped both arms around her beloved and closed her eyes, with concentration and careful gentleness she slipped into the sleeping telepathís mind, experienced the same dream with her. A soft smile appeared on her lips as the dream played out in her mind, it was not as amused as it warmed her to know that Talia thought of her even in her dreams.

Finally it was time for the computer to wake her and she sighed in disappointment, and annoyance. It was time to get up, but she didnít want the computer to give out the wake up call. She didnít want to wake her beautiful angel up from sound sleep. So, she gave out the command to disable to alarm with the voice as quiet as she could manage without being totally inaudible.

Ivanova spent a few more minutes lying there with the telepath on top of her, until she knew that was time she had to get ready for a long day of problem. Slowly, she rolled both of them on their side, gently put the golden head on the pillow. She extracted herself off the sleeping form and covered her up with the blanket.

Susan tiptoed into the bathroom, she grabbed her uniform which was hung in the closet, ready for her use on her way to the bathroom. She took a quick shower and dressed in her uniform as quiet as she could manage. She was buttoning up her shirt as she exited the ensuite Talia was stirring.

"Susan?"

Ivanova immediately went to the bedside, she sat down on the mattress beside her love.

"What time is it?" The telepath asked.

She rubbed her eyes sleepily, the gesture which Susan thought was very adorable. She tried to sit up but the Lt. Commander held her down with a hand on her chest.

"What time is your first appointment for the day?" Ivanova queried.

"UmÖ" Talia blinked sleepily, trying to recall her schedule for the day. "After your first break." She said finally.

"Then you go back to sleep, I have to get to work now, but you can sleep in."

"Susan, Iíve neverÖ"

"Sleep, Iíll call in before my break if youíre afraid that you would be late, but I want you to get some more sleep."

Talia stared at her with blurry eyes, she was still sleepy, which was not something she used to. Usually she would wake up fresh every morning, unlike the Lt. Commander. But it was not like they slept much last night either. It was an indulgent that she knew she should not make a habit of, but it was nice every once in a while.

"You promise youíll call?"

"Promise." Susan smiled, then she leaned down and gave her a soft kiss. "Now, go back to sleep."

The telepath rolled over and closed her eyes. The Lt. Commander remained there, where she sat for a moment, hand stroking the soft blond tresses, until she was sure that Talia had fallen back to sleep that she got up and left the room.

She turned the lights down as she walked out, jacket slugged over her shoulder.

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

"Lt. Commander a stress call from the cargo liner near Sector 857."

"Put it through, and inform the Commander." Ivanova said, immediately stood up at her console opened the channel. The broken distress call played out, she immediately called for Delta Squadron ready for launch.

It was time like this that she hated, after what seemed like a boring day suddenly all hell broken lose. She knew that by the time Delta Squadron got there, there would be nothing left but the field of debris. The Raider would be long gone, left a field of destruction behind. They did not survive doing this if they couldnít move quickly.

The large doors slid opened and sound of steps came close to her.

"Whatís going on, Lt. Commander?"

"A distress call from cargo liner, sir. A Raider attack."

"Raider attack?" Sinclair echoed, "there were no Raider attacks for months now. Where the hell are they from?"

Ivanova shrugged, she hadnít got a clue. It was true, they had no trouble with the Raider for months and now it suddenly appeared again. Though she knew that they were not going to just disappeared in the thin air. There was no way in hell that would happen. She wondered if they were up to something big that was why they were quiet.

"You think we should check that out?"

"Commander Sinclair, Lt. Commander Ivanova."

They both turned at the calling. Lt. Morgan looked up at them from the station below them.

"What is it, Lieutenant?" Sinclair started.

"A transmission came in from Delta leader, sir."

Sinclair nodded, implied that she should put it through at the Second in Commandís console. The transmission was what Ivanova thought it would be, they found only the field of debris, no survivor, and the Raiders that were responsible were nowhere in sight.

"Maybe I should check it out."

"Maybe, but letís wait for Delta Squadron first, see what theyíve got."

Ivanova nodded in acceptance, she sent the message to the Squadron for them to get back after they finished investigating the debris, and to report back to her immediately. She estimated time to be about an hour before they got back. In the mean time she checked the status of the station, and left C&C for her office. There were always stacks of reports waiting for her. It was the path of the job that she hated.

The usual operation report was filled with all the things about maintenance, how efficient it was operating, sometimes she wondered if the head of each departments just filled them in one copy and then give the same one to her over and over.

She spent the next few hours buried in stacks of reports, before she logged off duty and headed back to her quarters.

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

"Ms. Winters."

Talia looked up sharply at the sound. She tried not to roll her eyes when she saw a slim figure of Claudia Fletcher approached her at the table. The woman was smiling widely when she stopped at the edge of her table.

The telepath smiled back at her, she put the transparencies down on the table next to the cup of hot tea.

"Ms. Fletcher." She greeted back, gestured at the chair opposite her.

Fletcher took a seat gingerly. "How are you?"

"Iím fine, thank you." Talia took a sip of her tea, and put it back down. "How do you like living on Babylon 5 so far?"

"Oh, this place is wonderful, I mean thereís so many species walking around, so many languages." Fletcher said, her whole face animated like an excited child on the first trip to the zoo. "And no one care who you are while you walk around. Itís great."

The telepath grinned at the remark. It was true on Babylon 5 the fact that she was a telepath was overlook by some, because in the place with a lot of aliens walking around, a human telepath was just another alien, nothing more.

Even though she was the only commercial telepath on the station and sometimes she felt so lonely, but she was not alienated by others, at least not by most percentage of the population, which were aliens. Though most people would approach her only when they needed something to be done and required a registered telepathís help.

Now, she didnít care about that anymore, she didnít feel so lonely when Susan was around. And she was around a lot, every chance that theyíve got they spent with each other. She only hoped that the Lt. Commander wanted the telepath as much as she wanted her.

"Yes, that was one thing I like about this place." Talia agreed simply.

Claudia was grinning widely, she waved for the waiter to come over. The waited approached their table and put out a padd, ready to take an order.

Fletcher ordered a cup of coffee, and the telepath ordered another hot tea for herself. A few minutes later he served their drinks, and asked if there was anything else that they wanted.

"That will be all, thank you."

He nodded and walked away.

"So, how long have you been here?" Fletcher asked casually, starting a conversation.

"Almost a year." The telepath answered evenly.

"Arenít you get lonely sometimes that you are the only telepath on board?"

Talia looked at her for a moment, she watched as Fletcher realized that she shouldnít have asked such a question. It was too personal and they simply were not that close yet.

"Sorry," she murmured.

Talia let out an annoyed sighed, one that was not so discrete, letting her know that she didnít like the question, but she answered it nonetheless.

"Itís all right. Yes, I feel lonely sometimes, but I made friends."

"Ah."

Fletcher took another sip from her coffee, she tried not to make a face. The coffee was awful, she thought that she would not be surprised if she found out that they brew it from the recycling bay. She put the cup down. Thinking that if she could know more about the Second in Command of the station from the telepath, she might have a better chance at getting to know her, and as a result getting closer to the telepath herself.

"So, what about Lt. Commander Ivanova?"

"What about her?"

"Is she a friend?"

Talia frowned slightly, wondered what the woman was trying to get at. She could, of course, scan her and she would know her intention completely, but she would alert her in the process, so all she could do was reading the strayed thoughts that she broadcast and tried to make sense out of them.

"Yes, she is a friend."

"You know her when you came aboard?"

"No, she didnít like me at first." Talia said cautiously.

"I thought you two were pretty close." Fletcher tried to feel around the conversation, she tried to use what she had learned with the numerous negotiations.

"We worked that out later on. Lt. Commander Ivanova was a very private person, she was very hard to get to know." She paused, "but once you get to know her, she is a fairly nice person."

"Ah," Fletcher said, this was going to be a lot more difficult than what she had originally thought. She thought that the telepath was pretty hard to approach, but now she found out that the Lt. Commander, who was not a telepath was even harder to approach. She would have to work something else out.

"Is there something you wanted to know about her, Ms. Fletcher?"

Fletcher looked at her for a moment, pretending to sip her drink, she shook her head, indicated that it was nothing.

"I just like to make a friend with her thatís all."

"Well, then youíll have to work very hard for that." Talia said, "sheís not the easiest person to get to know."

"What about you?" the woman asked. "Are you as hard to get to know?"

Talia looked at her with an insincere smile on her lips. "That would depend on your intention toward me."

"Oh?"

They went quiet for a moment, Talia was waiting for the womanís reaction to her words, she didnít mean to be rude to her, she quite like the woman. But sheíd like to make it clear that she was not opened in that option. While Fletcher thought about it over, she realized that the telepath wanted her to state her intention clearly to her. She felt a little uneasy, she wasnít sure if the telepath scanned her or not, then dismissed the thought about scanning, because she would know.

"I donít know how to say this, Ms. WintersÖ Talia."

The telepath nodded for her to continue what she was trying to say.

"Are you involve with someone right now?"

Fletcher was a little shocked at what just came out of her mouth, and she could see that the telepath was also shocked at her question.

Well, she wanted me to be straight, so there.

"You could say that." Talia said finally.

She was glad that she got a chance to make it clear to her, she did not want to say it out right if the woman didnít say anything to the effect. Even though she knew what the womanís intentions were, she could never said anything bold. Normal had a way to deny things even though it was the truth.

"Oh," Fletcher said, speechless.

It clearly, was not something she was hoping to hear.

Fletcher thought about that one, she wanted to ask the telepath, who was the lucky person. But from her facial expression it was clear that she would not talk about this further. She sighed quietly and decided that she would find out, somehow. When she got used to this place and its people she would be able to find that one out.

"But we could always be friends, couldnít we?" She offered weakly.

The telepath nodded in acceptance. "Yes, we could."

Fletcher nodded, and forced a smile on her face. If Talia knew she gave no indication.

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

Lt. Commander Ivanova sighed tiredly, she had spent the last few hours in her office, reading through the reports and now she still had a few more tugged under her arm. She stood at the door lead to her own quarters, a hand fishing for her identicard in her pocket.

Once she got it in the middle of all the little things in her trousersí pocket, she slipped it into the slot and waited for the clearance as the computer identified her card. The lights lit up as the door opened for her. Ivanova stepped inside, didnít expect anything, or anyone in her quarters. She was hoping, of course, that the telepath would be there, waiting.

When she found no one in her quarters she walked straight to the counter in the kitchenette area.

"Lights." She ordered and dropped all the padds on the counter.

She unzipped her jacket and hung it up for the next day, Ivanova rolled her sleeves up to her elbows and she went through the cupboard for coffee bean and coffee maker. Unlike the coffee that they sale on the station, she could never get the real coffee and the synthetic was never taste the same. Some day she thought that they brewed it from the recycling bay, and she knew that she was not the only one that the thought came to mind. Her coffee grew in the garden here on Babylon 5.

The garden was not for personal purposes, the hyponic garden was solely for plants, grain, and other things that were not coffee. Ivanova had to pull rank for them to allow her to grow coffee in the garden. She knew that some of the command staff knew it too. It was just one of not so many things that she allowed herself to indulge in. If she was going to be on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, she would like something that allowed her some luxury.

She set up the coffee maker and then she grided the beans. After she set up the machine she picked her reports up and read through them while the coffee was brewing. Once it done she pour a steaming coffee for herself and headed at the living area.

Unlike most living space on Babylon 5, the Commander of the station and the Second in Command had the biggest living quarters on the station. Their quarters had extra seven square feet, and running water. They were privileges to them only. Their quarters had a separated bedroom and living area.

Taking a sip from her cup, Ivanova sank down on the couch, she flipped through the transparencies, the report and complains about the Raiders attacks were there also. Like the Commander said they had been fairly quiet for the past few months now they started again, she wondered if this would mean a big trouble for them, or just the usual annoying problem with the transporter. She hoped it was the second, not the first.

A sound of the door alerted her from her reports, she looked up in time to see the stationís resident telepathís lithe figure stepped in. A smile lit up her face.

"Hi," said, Susan as she got up from her seat.

"Susan," the telepath said with obvious pleasure.

The Lt. Commander came around the low coffee table and pulled her in an embrace. It was only then that she saw the package in her gloved hand.

"What is that?"

Ivanova pulled back a little and looked at the package in her hand, then looked back up at the beautiful face that presented her with the sweet, loving smile.

"Itís for you."

The telepath presented her with the gift, she watched a smile grew on the usually so expressionless face. Expressionless to everyone else on the station, but not to her. She saw the soft expression passed on her face. Ivanova took her hand and walked back to the couch where she was seating for the last hour or so. They sat back down close to each other.

"Whatís the occasion?"

The Lt. Commander looked at the package from all ankles, she alternately looking at the gift and her loverís face.

Well, I saw it in Zocalo, and I thought youíd like it.

Ivanova looked at the package again, seemed a little overwhelmed at the gift.

"Open it." Talia urged.

Finally Ivanova unwrapped the paper carefully, revealing a dark blue sweater. She held it up fully.

"Like it?"

The telepath leaned into her, reached out a hand to touch hers.

"Love it."

"Iím glad you do."

She dropped the sweater in her lap and took the beautiful face in her both hands and kissed her thoroughly, she felt arms came up to wrap around her neck, hand tangled in her hair and she dropped her hands down to her waist and held her even tighter.

"Thank you," she said between kisses.

After a while they parted and looked at each other with soft expressions one their faces. Susan leaned against the back of the couch, supported on her elbow, facing the telepath. Talia was leaning against the couch also, facing her. She allowed her free hand to trace the contour line of her beautiful face.

"Are you hungry?"

"A little," Talia said, not caring much apparently, then she asked. "Are you hungry? You want me to make something?"

"UmÖ I think we should go out tonight."

Talia looked a little startled at the suggestion. "Now?"

"Yeah, let me change into something more comfortable and we go out."

"All right."

Ivanova gave her one last kiss and got up, she took the sweater with her into the bedroom. Talia leaned back, one hand rested on the warm spot where the Lt. Commander sat a few minutes ago. She knew that it would not take long for Ivanova to change. She was in the military after all, if thereís anything Ivanova was quick at these little things, like shower and change.

Talia would take half an hour just to get out of the shower and then another half getting dress, but the Lt. Commander could do everything in a quarter of the time that she used. She picked the gloves that she discarded up from the table surface and put them on, she didnít like to wear them, of course, but it was necessary, and as much as normal did not want to be scan against their will, telepath hated to accidentally scan them also. Psi dampening gloves was the way to prevent that, though they were of little used with strong emotions it was still better than nothing.

Ten minutes later the Lt. Commander emerged from her bedroom, dressed in her casual clothes, dark color slack, Talia couldnít help but smiled as she saw that Susan wore the dark blue sweater. The telepath got up from her seat, standing.

"UmÖ I love this." Ivanova said as she pulled the sweater up, over her nose and inhaled deeply.

Talia giggled at her childlike gesture, and Susanís smile widened. She quickly crossed the distant between them in a few quick strides. She gave the telepath a hug, and placed kisses on her cheeks and forehead. Then, she pulled back and took her by the hand.

"Come on," Susan said and pulled her out the door.

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

Ivanova and Winters were sitting at one of the café in Zocalo, they were not in the mood for formal dinner, all they wanted was just to have a good meal in an informal environment. The big restaurant sometimes made them feel a little uncomfortable with the formality of it. They could, of course stayed in and made something for the supper, and that was not something Ivanova wanted to do, and she didnít think it was fair for the telepath either. So, here they were, eating out.

They were talking and enjoying their meals when someone approached their table. Ivanova didnít need to look up to know who it was.

Michael Garibaldi.

"Lt. Commander," he said with his characteristic cheerfulness, then he turned to her companion. "Ms. Winters. What a surprise to see you two here."

"Garibaldi." Ivanova greeted, her voice even, though there was some underlining annoyance to her tone.

"Mr. Garibaldi."

"May I join you two ladies?"

Ivanova looked at Talia and then back at him. "Sure, Garibaldi, pull up a chair."

Great, why did I think that we could get away with it?

Talia had an amused smile on her face as the mental message broke through her block. She took a bite of her food and said nothing; the annoyance that the Lt. Commander radiated was unmistakable. She was hoping that they could spend their time in public without any interference, but that was not possible, not anymore.

Maybe we could pair Garibaldi up with the womanÖ what was her name?

Ms. Fletcher, Claudia Fletcher. Talia replied.

An amusement flood through both of them, Ivanova watched as Talia tried to suppress her laugh that rose up within her. All the looks were missed by the Security Chief for he was busily ordering his dinner.

"So," said, Security Chief when he done with the order and the waitress walked away.

"Are you sure thatís enough, Garibaldi?" Ivanova said teasingly when she heard of the items he ordered. "We wouldnít want you to be starve later on."

"Ha Ha, very funny." He said sarcastically, then he turned to the telepath. "UmÖ I saw you with someone the other day."

Talia looked up from her plate, her eyebrows raised in questioning, from the corner of her eye she could see that the Lt. Commander was staring at her.

"Yeah, a blonde."

"Oh, you mean Ms. Fletcher." Talia said as she remembered that she had a little talk with the woman after Susan left. "Sheís my client. She just moved here."

"Oh, that would explain why Iíve never see her before."

I didnít tell you that I had a little talk with her. The telepath sent.

A little talk?

Yes, Iíll tell you all about it.

All right. Ivanova agreed.

It did not take long before the Security Chiefís orders came. Ivanova stared at all the items on the table and at Garibaldi as he started to dig in.

"Jeez, try not to let anything goes to waste, OK?"

That left the telepath laughing, and Garibaldi looking startled.

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

"Iíll walk you back to your quarters." Offered, Garibaldi as they left the small café and walked into the crowd of people that browsed through Zocalo.

"Itís all right Mr. Garibaldi. I donít want to take up your time." Talia declined the offer gently.

"No, itís no problem."

Talia looked at Ivanova as if to ask her opinion.

"Itís all right, Garibaldi." Ivanova chimed in. "Iíll walk her back."

"Ivanova?"

"Iíll get her home, donít worry." She repeated. "Good night."

"Good night Mr. Garibaldi." Talia said and stepped closer to her lover, their hands almost touching.

"Good night you two." The Security Chief said finally, looking a little disappointed that his offer being turned down.

He watched as the two women walked away, his eyes were on the back side of both of them then focused on the telepath, as he ran his eyes downward, he could see the outline of her spine underneath her suit. Then his eyes caught where the telepath was holding the Lt. Commander elbow as they walk.

The suspicious that he had from the first moment that he saw the telepath walked into the casino and approached the table where the Lt. Commander and himself were sitting that night. The way she laughed openly at Ivanovaís considerably dark humors, and leaned close to her. And the way that Ivanova did not back away, or even notice it came to his mind.

No wayÖ He thought to himself. They canít be together that way, Ivanova hates telepaths and Psi-Corps. It just not possible. They probably are now best friends. Friends do that sometimes, donít get so work up Michael.

Inside the transporter tube, Susan and Talia were alone. The telepath leaned against her, hands clung at her elbow, the Lt. Commander looking at her fondly.

"I thought I have to spend the night by myself." Talia said idly.

"Why?"

"Well, if Garibaldi walk me back to my quarters, he will probably find a way talking me into let him inside andÖ"

"Sometimes you donít know how to get yourself out of it." Ivanova finished the thought for her, and snickered. "I wonít let that happen, donít worry."

They stepped out at the level contained the Lt. Commanderís quarters, the telepath was more than happy that the Lt. Commander did not try to push her away, instead she covered her hands where they held her left elbow and squeezed gently.

"Now, about what I said." Ivanova started as they undressed for the night.

"What you said?" Talia stopped in her mid stride.

"Yeah, about getting them together."

Ivanova pulled the cover back and sat heavily on the firm mattress. She motioned Talia to join her, the telepath sat obediently beside her.

"Are you serious?"

"UmÖ hmmÖ" She lay down and turned to face the telepath, who was still leaning against the headboard with disbelieve expression on her face. "Of course, unless you want both of them to still bothering you. Or maybe you like the attention." She finished the last sentence with a wicked grin on her face.

Talia slid down under the cover and turned to Ivanova. "Of course," she said.

She giggled at the started expression on her loverís face.

No, of course not. I only like that kind of attention from you, not from anyone else.

"You!" She exclaimed and rolled on top of the telepath, then proceeded to tickle her, knowing that Talia was very ticklish.

Soon she had the telepath helpless with laughter, she kept in mind that the in was easy to cross the line and really turned the playful gesture into a tormenting one. And she stopped, holding the helpless woman in her arms. Talia was trying to catch her breath as Ivanova pulled the blanket up to cover them both.

"Iíll get you back for that one," Talia muttered quietly.

"What was that?"

"Oh no, nothing Susan." Talia replied and kissed her quickly on the lips.

They settled into the comfortable silence, slipping into each otherís mind, whispering the words and showing each other directly how much they meant to one another.

I love you so muchÖ

I love you too.

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

The telepath was walking through the market place, she was supposed to meet Claudia Fletcher for another negotiation in fifteen minutes. She had a conversation with Lt. Commander the night before about introducing the Security Chief and the woman to each other. In the hope that they might like each other enough to hit off the relationship.

Talia told her lover not to put too much of a hope into this, it was entirely possible that they might hate each other at first sight, like Ivanova hated her before. That one resulted in a sad look from Susan as she tried to explain that she didnít hated her, not even at the briefest moment. She explained that all she did was fallen for her, but she was too afraid to acknowledge it.

Came out of her muse she saw that Fletcher was already at the table, waiting. She took a deep breath, trying to think of the way to do this as she came closer to the table.

"Ms. Fletcher." The telepath greeted politely.

"Ms. Winters. How are you today?"

"Fine, thank you." She said out loud.

How am I going to pull this one off? She asked herself inside. Wishing that she didnít go along with the Lt. Commanderís suggestion.

Iím going to kill her when this is all overÖ

The End


"Delta leader to delta wing, show's over. Let's collect the stragglers and return to base." ( Signs and Portents )