Disclaimer: Ivanova, et al, belong to JMS, Babylonian Productions and Warner Bros. and are used without permission. This is a not for profit effort for fan-to-fan appreciation! :) All-ages sensibility, depicting a romantic relationship between two women.
Written for the MindwalkersTS yahoo club, Valentine's '00. :)
THE CAPTAIN'S BALL
Once upon a time there was this space station called Babylon 5 and on this space station was a captain, name of John Sheridan, with a very capable and attractive second in command, name of Susan Ivanova. Now Capt. Sheridan had to deal with all sorts of ambassadors of alien races on his space station all day long (actually, he'd pass some of that responsibility to his very capable second--who did a really good job and didn't complain--some of the time). Lots of times those ambassadors fought, and it gave Sheridan a big headache. Then one day he got this Big Idea....
"I'll have a big party!" thinks John. "Then the ambassadors will be too busy getting drunk to fight each other! And then I'd get to dance with Delenn!"
Ambassador Delenn was Sheridan's romantic interest. He just loved thinking of ways to spend time with Delenn. He wished everyone was as happy as he was--like his grumpy but very capable XO. Then Capt. Sheridan got another bright idea.
"You want to do WHAT??" His second yelled. Wow, Ivanova has a set of lungs, thought Sheridan, putting a pinkie in his left ear.
"Aw, just go with it Ivanova. Me and Stephen have to do it too," piped in Security Chief Garibaldi good-naturedly. Ivanova gave the chief a big space-ice stare. Dr. Franklin shrugged and smirked. He just hoped he would sell more tickets than the security chief.
"Glad everyone agrees!" Capt. Sheridan said happily. "I'll announce it tomorrow. For the occasion of my Captain's Ball, the very eligible bachelors of my command staff will be raffled off as dates!"
Ivanova groaned very loudly and covered her eyes.
The next day was a big tizzy on the space station. There were lines of people and aliens waiting to buy raffle tickets. There were even a few fights. Dr. Franklin's tickets were selling very well but Ivanova's was selling even more. That was because there were men, aliens, and women in line for her raffle. Garibaldi was doing just so-so. He figured he wasn't selling as many tickets because he was a cop and all, and people on the space station didn't like cops.
"Zack!! Not you too??" Garibaldi yelled at his security officer. Zack shrugged sheepishly, caught red-handed waiting in line for an Ivanova ticket.
Garibaldi was so depressed he went and hid in the casino before he could notice that the resident commercial telepath of Babylon 5, Ms. Talia Winters, was standing in the Ivanova line as well. She was a few people behind Zack Allen but at least as many people ahead of Lt. Corwin, which made her feel only a little better. She was very anxious about getting a raffle ticket. She was bouncing up and down almost, so anxious was she.
"Hey there, Ms. Winters! How many tickets were you planning on buying?" she heard Zack Allen call back to her.
"I have enough credits to buy seven," Talia answered sadly. "But I hear Lt. Corwin is going to buy thirty, and Ambassador G'kar is buying a hundred!"
"Heck, Ms. Winters," Zack shrugged. "Don't fret yer pretty head too much. Ya never know with lotteries!" And then the security officer gave Talia a reassuring grin and began whistling cheerfully to himself.
Finally the Big Day came to raffle off the command staff as dates. Aliens and humans clutched their tickets hopefully as Capt. Sheridan put his big hand solemnly into the Big Box. First went Dr. Franklin's raffled date. As Sheridan announced the winner, a big squeal sounded in the audience. The winner was a woman who owned one of the shops in Brown Sector. Stephen winked at her. Then came Garibaldi's raffled date. Sheridan peered at the stub he picked out.
"Lennier!" he called out happily.
As the young Minbari man bowed and smiled to all the people congratulating him, Garibaldi turned kind of pale.
Finally came the date everyone was waiting for: the date with Ivanova. Sheridan's very capable second in command stood beside him and smiled indulgently. She was thinking of twenty different ways she could kill the captain with later.
"And the winner is...." Sheridan paused dramatically. Everyone in the audience held their breath. "....DA winna--" the captain continued, enjoying how everyone in the audience leaned in at once. Before Ivanova could grab him and beat him up, the words came booming out.
"MS. TALIA WINTERS!!" Sheridan shouted happily, and pulled a stunned Ivanova forward to present his very capable second in command for everyone to see.
Lots of people cheered and there were also lots of sobbing--the loudest, prolly Lt. Corwin's, who angrily tore all his tickets up in a hissy fit. Talia stood in an utter daze, disbelieving that she actually won. She had her hand over her mouth because she nearly screamed. Or maybe she did. Then she saw Commander Ivanova standing before her, who didn't appear so grumpy at the moment, but kind of amused.
"Don't look so happy, now," Ivanova joked.
Talia removed her gloved hand from her mouth.
"Can I pick you up at 1900?" she asked politely.
Ivanova suddenly appeared nervous but then hid it under a commanding frown.
"Sure," she answered casually, and then excused herself. She walked off looking very capable and cross again.
That night was the Captain's Ball. The stars were out and shining (okay, so the stars are always out in space--I'm just being poetic here), and Epsilon, the planet behind Babylon 5, was bright and pretty and as romantic as a big ol' moon. Everyone arriving at the Captain's Ball were dressed mighty elegant, it being a formal ball and all. Captain Sheridan, as pleased as could be, was all decked out in his Earthforce dress uniform with Ambassador Delenn on his arm. He couldn't wait to announce the dancing and get all these ambassadors and aliens partying!
Meanwhile, Talia had arrived at Commander Ivanova's quarters and was pressing the door chime. Her blonde hair was swept up and she wore an elegant, long black gown cut to hug her all over. She had on long black gloves and a beautiful pair of black heels on her feet. Her wrap, as it hung casually around her slender pale shoulders, was of the finest shimmering silk. She waited patiently for the commander to answer her door and told herself not to pass out or anything.
When Ivanova opened her entrance, she stepped out assertively and then nearly passed out. She knew Talia was gorgeous (anyone with eyes could see that! she reminded herself), but tonight--wowee! Ivanova discreetly straightened her gray dress uniform. She hoped she looked smart enough next to the telepath tonight.
And Talia looked Ivanova up and down from those very capable shoulders to the perfectly polished boots and thought: Dingdingding!! Jackpot!
Then Talia quietly presented Ivanova with a long stemmed rose, and the commander blushed, accepting the fragrant bloom graciously. Secretly, she liked roses an awful lot. Suddenly, Ivanova didn't feel one bit grumpy anymore.
"Shall we go?" she asked, offering Ms. Winters her arm. The telepath accepted with a big brilliant smile that made Ivanova catch her breath, and off the two went.
At the Captain's Ball, the orchestra played, the couples swung about on the glitzy dance floor, and the wine flowed freely. Everyone looked beautiful but none more so than the young couple who caught an appreciative eye or murmured comment from all the party-goers: Commander Susan Ivanova and Talia Winters. It wasn't just that they were good-looking, as everyone could see. It was just that, as they swayed together upon the dance floor, in dreamy harmony and eyes only for each other, such a magical happiness radiated from the pair no one in the room could miss it.
Captain Sheridan watched, most pleased with himself, as his very capable and no longer grumpy second slipped quietly from the party with the very lovely telepath. Later that night, as he sat happily with Delenn in his quarters, the ambassador happened upon the raffle stubs he had emptied from his pocket.
"John?" she asked in soft surprise, reading the name on Ivanova's ticket.
"Captain's privilege," He only said, giving a confused Delenn a big hug, and decided that he was a very, very smart Captain indeed.
"Delta leader to delta wings, show’s over. Let’s collect the stragglers and return to base." ( Signs and Portents )