DISCLAIMER: These characters don't belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the 48 Hour Halloween Challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Things That Go Bump in the Night
By Morgaine


Susan Ivanova hated Halloween.

The ghosts and ghouls and tales of dark happenings were fine - such things were part of ancient tradition and as such were to be remembered. But all the dressing up, cheery revelry and other such tomfoolery made her hugely uncomfortable. It was all so… unrussian.

And as for demanding money/candy/whatever with menaces… well just don't even go there. It had been bad enough when merely the Earthers had indulged in such nonsense, but this evening as well as numerous human children she had already sent several small Centauri and even a Pakmara on their way with her none-too-gentle voice ringing in their ears. All now knew in no uncertain terms the inadvisability of disturbing the Second-in-Command's evening off with the sole intent of acquiring some ill-gotten goods.

Mind you, even her resolve had crumbled when she opened her door to be confronted by two tiny Narn, their mother hovering uncertainly behind them, one dressed in an alien interpretation of a something that might possibly in some fevered imagination have been a witch, the other completely enveloped in a large white sheet, dark eyes staring hopefully out at her through two rather uneven holes. Well, she rationalised afterwards, she had stocked up on far more of that chocolate than she really needed anyway.

She was just about to settle down, put on some music, and pour herself a drink when the entry chime rang yet again. Uttering a few choice curses she flew to the door ready to impart yet more of 'Ivanova's Words of Wisdom on the Subject of Ancient Earth Festivals and their Relevance or Lack Thereof in Deep Space' to the foolhardy party who had interrupted her peace yet again. The words, however, died on her lips as she was brought up short by the sight before her.

There stood Talia Winters, the station's resident telepath and constant source of confusion to one Susan Ivanova, wearing a stunning black dress and an equally stunning smile that sent the usually stoic Russian's heart racing. "Trick or treat, Commander?" she husked in a voice that did things to Ivanova's insides that she really, really, tried not to dwell on.

"Uh… Miss Winters…" For some reason Ivanova found her brain somewhat less than agile, the only cohesive thought it could manage being 'Oh hell, that's sexy,' which it wisely kept to itself.

"Oh, come now Susan," the telepath purred, "it's Halloween. You know… when all we bad spirits come out to play?" the devastating smile somehow became even more so, and was aided in its attack by an elegantly quirked eyebrow and a mischievous twinkle in the woman's eyes.

"Um… yes. I mean…." 'Nope Ivanova, brain definitely not working at normal efficiency,' Susan berated herself, whilst trying unsuccessfully to ignore the vision her mind was supplying her of a 'bad' Talia Winters coming out to play.

"Look, I even bought the treat," and from behind her back the telepath produced a bottle of black label vodka.

Susan looked at the stunning vision before her, and suddenly wondered why on Earth she was still fighting the attraction that had been growing ever since she first set eyes on Talia that fateful day in C&C. Perhaps it was finally time to let go of old insecurities and give the two of them a chance - the woman opposite her had certainly made it clear as to what those chances were. Her mind made up, she gave a brilliant smile and stepped aside motioning the blonde to enter her quarters with an elegant sweep of her arm. As the telepath walked past her she asked, grinning widely, "Ah, but what if I had chosen a trick?"

The beautiful blonde's velvet voice floated back over her shoulder as she moved towards the couch, "Well now… I happen know a few of those too..."

Susan Ivanova decided that perhaps Halloween wasn't so bad after all.

The End

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