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24 January 2013 @ 01:14 pm
Fic: What Might Be 1/1  
Babylon 5
Rating: R/M

Summary: Lady Ladira answered, "This is a possible future, Commander. And it is my hope that you may yet avoid it."

Note: This is technically for Porn Battle, but I almost didn't even put it there since it's hardly porny at all. Mostly thinking about the prompts reminded me of an abandoned AU of mine where the B4 mission in WWE fails and leads to that alt-future we see in "Babylon Squared". This is not quite that timeline, but similar.

-- also at AO3 --

The monsters are coming, claws tearing at the fragile skin of the station, sending humans and aliens spinning out into the nothingness of the night.

Armed and armored, Michael stands at the intersection, yelling at people to hurry.

They're evacuating the station and for a moment - wrongness - steals Michael's breath and stills his heart. It's not supposed to be this way. And yet, he saw this moment years ago and maybe it was always going to happen.

But then Sinclair's there, appearing out of the smoke like he stepped out of legend, and everything's right again. Or at least as right as it can be, when Shadow servants are about to overrun the station.

God has a terrible sense of humor. Not that this is a surprise, since Michael knew that a long time ago, but it seems especially true considering it was just yesterday he'd finally lost it after another typical Sinclair stunt, trading himself for a group of hostages. Michael hadn't been able to breathe, his heart in his throat, as he watched on the monitor as Sinclair negotiated with two twitchy, armed fugitives. That it ended all right was due in part to Sinclair's words but mostly to pure dumb luck, and while Michael has all the faith in the world in Sinclair, he has none at all in luck. It was careless and reckless and unnecessary in the middle of a war, to risk himself like that.

But when he confronted Sinclair in his quarters to express all that, Sinclair shrugged. "Ten people could've died, Michael. I knew I could talk them down."

Michael's frustration and anxiety boiled over at Sinclair's casual dismissal of the danger he'd put himself, and Michael shoved Jeff against the wall. "You have to stop doing this! Damn it, do you have any idea how much this place needs you? How much I need you?"

And Jeff, far better with words on his worst day than Michael ever could be, had known exactly what the blurted words had meant. He stilled, eyes gone pale amber in surprise. "Michael?" he murmured cautiously, as if to give Michael a chance to laugh it off or take it back. But he wasn't trying to get away, Michael noted.

Instead of fumbling for more useless words, Michael decided that Sinclair's quarters were as good as he was going to get, and leaned in to plant his lips on Jeff's and show him the truth. No matter the consequences.

He had to put a hand against the wall to support his suddenly weak legs, as pure unfettered desire burned through him when Jeff pushed back against him and opened his mouth. Michael's fingers combed through the thick hair, worn longer now that he'd told Earth Alliance to screw itself and taken the station independent, to hold him there. Pressing him against the wall, feeling the long hard line of his body against his own, and that mouth and insistent tongue, made him shudder with want.

They parted on a gasp, and Michael knew he wasn't getting his breath back any time soon. "Damn."

"Michael, are you sure?"

"Sure?" Michael wanted to roll his eyes- who'd initiated this? Who had his hands yanking open a uniform jacket and reaching for slacks fasteners? Well, okay, that second pair of hands was Jeff's, so maybe the molesting wasn't one-sided. "Seriously, are you asking if I'm sure? If you can't tell, I'm screwing this up worse than I thought."

Jeff sounded amused. "You're doing fine. So tonight, anything goes." He shrugged out of his overtunic and let it fall to the floor.

Michael stared at him. "Anything?"

Jeff's smile got a smoky edge to it. "Anything."

As he pulled Michael back against him, all Michael could manage to mutter, "This is such a bad idea..."

It was a bad idea almost certainly, since Michael excelled at bad ideas like Jeff excelled at throwing himself recklessly into danger, but it was also a great idea. And he found to his surprise that Jeff knew what he was doing, even better than Michael did. He'd assumed a hotshot Starfury pilot would know what to do with his hands, but the things he did with that mouth came as a shock. A really good shock.

His voice, however, was exactly as hot as Michael had imagined it, a deep purr in his ear that promised him what he was going to do and then he did it.

And the bronze fire of those eyes, lit with unleashed desire that Michael could scarcely believe was for him, threatened to consume him, rougher and more intense than he ever dreamed.

When he was worn out and dropping off to sleep, he felt a gentle touch on his face. "I won't let it happen," Jeff whispered. "I promise."

Michael wanted to ask what he was talking about, but sleep was too tempting.

In the morning, Jeff left early to meet with the Rangers, while Michael had still been stirring awake. He made it into the security office and after that, they barely had a moment to breathe the same air, and certainly no time to talk about last night. Then a White Star had limped out of hyperspace, with news of a giant alien fleet heading their way.

Not that last night matters now. Michael glances at Jeff's face, and he knows Jeff is planning to go down with the ship. Because that's what Jeff does. Because Jeff outlived one massacre and he doesn't want to live it again.

But Michael can't let that happen. This is just the beginning of the Shadow war. And he believes there's only one person the Minbari believe is one of their own, and only one person respected by the Narn and the Centauri and the League. Only one person who can take all of these different races and forge them into something strong and unified.

There is, in short, only one person on this entire fragging station who needs to get off it alive. But Jeff will fight him about it and try to save Michael instead, if he has any say in it at all. So Michael can't give him a choice.

"I rigged the fusion reactors, but there's not much time. Get going, I'll hold them as long as I can--" But Jeff, brave idiot that he is, is shaking his head in fierce denial, as if he can stop this by sheer force of will. Exasperated, Michael shouts at him, "Look, come on, this isn't a conversation!"


Michael seizes his arm with his free hand, jerks him close, and hopes his eyes carry everything he didn't manage to say aloud yesterday. "Jeff, it's okay. I finally understand. This is the moment I was born for. Now go!" He shoves Jeff back, into the crowd. "Go!"

"Wait!" Jeff tries to fight the tide of the fleeing people, but it sweeps him away.

Michael turns to face the incoming threat, peering through the smoke and flame of the burning inner hull. He's ready. He has to stop the onslaught here and give Jeff a few more minutes to get away. But it's all right. He's figured it out: this moment will seal the Shadows' eventual defeat.

You monsters are about to take me and this station from him, and he will never yield after this. If the Minbari are right and he has a Minbari soul, you're about to rouse warrior caste fury and religious caste relentlessness, against you. He'll take the ashes of this place once it falls and destroy you with them. I just hope I'll be able to watch it somehow.

I'm sorry, Jeff, I wish we had more time. But we had our night, and this is how it's gotta be.

We live for the One, we die for the One.

Then, yelling in wordless defiance, he rushes forward to fight.

Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.