DISCLAIMER: Babylon 5 and its characters are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, Warner Brothers, PTEN, and/or TNT. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

24 Hours
By Adi

Midnight- The Kiss.

It was midnight station time. The time when you could just see tomorrow in front of you and, for those who dared look back, yesterday fading behind you.

The corridor was empty, not really surprising since it was the middle of the shift and this was the corridor to the officers quarters.


Susan Ivanova, second in command of Babylon 5, turned.

"Ms. Winters." Her voice was cool, calm edged with fatigue. "Can I help you?" It was a loaded question but a safe one. A question that could be taken in so many ways, you could say one thing and pretend you meant another.

The telepath's body language was nervous and then suddenly it wasn't. As if someone had pushed a button the blonde walked right up to Susan.

And then she was being kissed. And it was soft and it was intense and it was inviting and it was welcoming and it . . . was.

That's when the annoying little voice decided to speak up.

Umm Ivanova, there's a telepath on your lips.

Shut up

OK, but don't say I didn't warn you.

And it was over, years after it started, or seconds. No it was seconds she was sure of it. She could still see tomorrow waiting for its turn, she could still feel yesterday pushing up behind her.

"I want you." So softly it was spoken, so delicately were the words dropped to her ear. Spoken as if she didn't know, as if the blonde hadn't declared her intentions with that kiss.

And then she was gone, as if she never was. Like a modern day Cinderella the clock struck twelve and she vanished, leaving only burning lips to prove that she really had been there.

So what was that?

A declaration of intentions. The voice had returned. So what are you going to do about it?

It's up to me huh?

Yup, up to you.

Six am- The morning after.

It was six am station time. Night and all its promises . . . gone, dissolved as the alarm sounded, forcing the sleeping occupant into wakefulness, too early, always too early. The day stretched forth in infinite possibilities, infinite opportunities, infinite aggravations.

Susan Ivanova, second in command of Babylon 5, groaned in objection.

Overruled. Wake up.

Crawling out of bed she headed straight to the bathroom to get rid of the cotton in her mouth. The cotton in her head would be taken care of later with some really strong coffee or at least some caf.

Back into the bedroom to get dressed and make herself presentable. Running her itinerary over in her head.

07:00 Meeting with Captain Sheridan

09:45 Meeting Garibaldi and his stomach

11:00 Check-up at med-lab

12:00 Lunch with Talia.

What?! Susan did a mental double take. Where did that come from?

That would be me.

Well I'm not going.

Yes you are.

Oh? And how do you know that pray tell?

Cause of the kiss.

Susan dropped her brush, purely by accident of course.

That wasn't a dream?

Nope. So what are you going to do about it?

Pretend it never happened?

Think you can?


Susan finished braiding her hair and let her arms fall to her sides.

Ever felt that way before? Ever? Have you ever felt anything even remotely smiliar?

Susan sighed.


So what are you going to do about it?

I have no idea.



Noon- Lunch.

It was noon station time. Half a day gone, half a day to go. Not yesterday and not tomorrow could be seen under the harsh glare of the noon twelve. If this had been an old western the sun would have been blazing down, but since this was a space station the only thing blazing was the noise level in the Zocalo.

Susan Ivanova, second in command of Babylon 5, strode down the marketplace to where she knew Talia Winters would be eating lunch. She knew because she used to eat there too, before she came aboard and made her blood run cold and burn hot at the same time.

There she was, sitting alone eating her salad and reading her newspaper, just being beautiful. Susan walked right up and sat down in front of her.

Talia looked surprised but not nervous.

Why isn't she nervous?

Like you? The voice was annoying but honest; lets face it, it was annoying because it was honest.

Fine yes why isn't she nervous like I am?

Her part in this play is over now. The question is why are you nervous? You know how she feels.

Yes but I don't know how it will end.

"Can we talk in private?" Her voice came out a lot steadier than she had expected.

"No." Talia put down her fork and closed her newspaper.

No? This she hadn't expected.

Don't look at me. I didn't see this coming either.

"No?" Once again she was surprised at how steady her voice was.

"No. Whatever happens, happens here. I will not be hidden."

She's got a point.

Shut up. What do I do?

Kiss the girl already!

So she did, and for the first time since high school she saw stars, and for the first time ever they all went super nova in her head. When they pulled apart they were both breathing hard and Talia was smiling a smiled so full of joy and warmth it could have melted an iceberg.

Now what?

Gee do I gave to tell you everything!?

No, you're right. I know what to do.

"Your place or mine?"




"Seven." And then in unison.


Another kiss. Soft, barely brushing the two lips together, a promise of a promise.

"See you then."

Six PM- The date.

It was six pm station time. The day was effectively over, and now of was the night's, or at least the evening's, turn. The day slumped off into the distance, it's shoulders stooped with all of the things that hadn't happened today and night danced in with its secrets and laughter and pain hugging it like a sequin dress under bright lights.

Susan Ivanova, second in command of Babylon 5 opened the door for her guest. She was nervous as hell, but refrained from taking her usual remedy for this state, a good shot of vodka. She wanted this night to be sharp in her memory . . . no matter what happened.

"Hi, come in." It was a lame opening, she knew, she also knew that it didn't matter.

She's as nervous as I am. Susan came to the realization quickly; it was fairly obvious.

Does that make you feel better?

Yes. It did actually, to know that she wasn't alone in her anxiety.

Talia held out a bottle to Susan who smiled when she saw what it was. Grape Juice.

What do you think that means?

That she wants the same thing you do.

And what would that be?

To remember this night forever, no matter what happens.

So what do I do?

Pour the drinks honey, just pour the drinks.

So she did.

Midnight- The End.

It was midnight station time. The time when you could just see tomorrow in front of you and, for those who dared look back, yesterday fading behind you.

The living room was empty. On the coffee table stood a half empty bottle of grape juice, the media wall played the closing credits of an old black and white romance, a guaranteed tear jerker, or would have been if there was someone there watching.

In front of the couch two pairs of shoes, one 2 inch black heels, one military issue, had been strewn. They did not look as if they had been thrown nor had they been carefully placed. They looked as if they had been kicked off absently while the wearers had been talking or maybe engrossed in a movie.

The shoes knew, but they weren't talking.

The living room was empty, the bedroom however was full. Full of life, full of love, full of whisper and quiet giggles.

Susan Ivanova, lover of Talia Winters in a world that held only them played absently with a strand of blond hair, listening to a smoked honey voice, feeling it run down her spine.

She held the strand to her nose and inhaled the lovely almost delicate scent of the blonde's shampoo mingled with the woman's smell on her fingers and smiled.

The voice stopped suddenly, making Susan look up quickly.

Talia had a smile on her face that reflected Susan's. A smile full of joy at the love they shared, a smile of unbelievable amazement at their luck, a smile of just waiting to be kissed.

So she did.

Umm Susan, there's a Talia on your lips.

Yeah so? Got a problem with that?

Nope. Not a one . . . not a one.

The End

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