DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I merely write.
SPOILERS: CSI Miami Season 4. X Files Post Series. West Wing Post Series. Babylon 5 Series 3 some time after "Ceremonies of Light and Dark".
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Gunpowder Treason and Plot
1. THE WAR AT HOME (CSI MIAMI Calleigh / Natalia)
The terrorist cell operating out of Miami had been more or less mopped up though not without loss of life. Homeland Security had taken over most of the case but had welcomed Horatio's offer for the use of the CSI labs and facilities as the home-team were familiar with not just with the geographic locality but also with the movers and shakers, the money men and go-to guys who didn't ask too many questions over who they were working for as long as the colour of the currency was right.
Calleigh and Natalia had worked closely on the case finding a new rhythm together. Their closeness off duty translated into a better working relationship on duty. They talked more, shared information and insights, made connections that might otherwise have been missed.
There was a downside of course. When one of them was in the field, when bullets were flying and bombs going off when a law enforcement badge made you a legitimate target the other could not rest easy until she knew that her lover was safe.
Those who had eyes to see understood and accepted their new closeness. Alexx as ever was warm and affectionate, open with her congratulations. Horatio did not speak of it directly but they knew he did not miss anything that happened in his lab or with his people. He had their backs if they needed it. As for the others they were too concerned with their own lives and troubles their own relationships to notice that the two women left together more often than not and arrived most mornings in the same vehicle.
A haul of guns and money had kept both women busy all day, vital evidence for a possible connection between their cell of terrorists and the next rung up in the organisation. Homeland Security had furnished them with a list of persons of interest with fingerprints and DNA profiles where they had them, and so far they had two matches: a good partial print on one of the money bundles and epithelials from the grip of a Glock that Calleigh's ballistics had confirmed as the weapon involved in a bank robbery in Tampa two weeks earlier where a guard and a customer had been shot and just under half a million dollars stolen and the murder of a known moderate imam outside a mosque in Columbus, Ohio three months before.
It had been a long but fruitful day. They had enough to hopefully put several terrorists and their sympathisers behind bars for a long time. Calleigh drove to Natalia's house, knowing that the other woman had clocked out about an hour earlier. As she let herself into the house she could smell something wonderful cooking in the kitchen. Natalia loved to cook, it helped her relax, she said. And she loved to cook for people she loved.
Standing in the doorway to the kitchen, watching Natalia move between the worktop and the hob, Calleigh realised something of vital importance. As long as they could do this, live their lives as normally as they wanted, be free to love each other as they desired, well then the terrorists of whatever persuasion would never win.
"Hey." Natalia turned and smiled at her, her cheeks a little flushed from the heat of the stove, her hair twisted up out of the way, tendrils escaping from the twist to frame her face. "You timed that very well, this should be ready in a few minutes. The table's set if you could pour the wine I'll bring the food through when it's done."
"It smells fantastic," Callie smiled. "I didn't realise how hungry I was till I walked through the door. Of course you look just about edible as well," her smile widened.
"I hadn't really planned dessert," Natalia said, "but I'm very open to any suggestions you might have." She smiled as Calleigh embraced her from behind, holding her close as she whispered a few of her own ideas into her lover's ear.
It was going to be a long but fruitful evening as well.
2. GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION (X FILES Scully/Reyes)
The hunt for terrorists home grown or otherwise occupied much of their time these days. Even though it had been several years since she had seen much less spoken to her it still sent a cold shiver down her spine when Monica Reyes saw Dana Katherine Scully's name on an official Homeland Security watchlist. A little further down the same list she spotted Fox Mulder's name. He had a higher risk rating than Scully. She wondered if the two of them were still together or whether it was just guilt by association. Monica couldn't imagine Dana Scully willingly doing anything to aid terrorists. But then again she had been on the run from her own government for several years. Homeland Security got interested in people for a hell of a lot less than that.
"Monica?" She looked up to see John Doggett standing in the doorway of her office. He noticed her reading material and nodded grimly. "You've seen it, then."
"Is it true are they involved or is it just a Homeland Security fishing trip?"
"I've been trying to get more information. From what I can gather, Mulder's been seen associating with some pretty grey characters the last couple of years. After Frohike and his guys were killed he needed someone with access to the same kind of information systems they did. Apparently these guys aren't as particular about who they share that information with. They've been linked with Al-Qaeda and a couple of Palestinian splinter groups not to mention eco-terrorists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis. As I said, not too particular about whom they deal with as long as the colour of their money is okay."
"There's no evidence that Scully is involved as well."
"My contact had no information on Scully at all. She's dropped off the face of the earth. You know how useful someone with her science and medical background could be very useful to any terrorist organisation. If she's involved I doubt if it's willingly. But Mulder may have got both of them in over their heads." He sighed. "Taken at face value without knowing his true motivations there is more than enough on his record to get him placed on any Watch list. And Scully along with him."
"I just wish I knew that she was safe," Monica fretted. "I never thought she'd go off with Mulder, I thought " she paused.
"You and she were pretty close, I know," Doggett said carefully. "I really did hope the two of you would make a go of it as well, if only to get her away from Mulder's influence. I never trusted him to look after her, you know."
"He was is a very driven man. If he has fallen in with people who could twist his motivations to their own ends there's no saying what he might do," Monica nodded. "But at the end of the day it was her decision. Dana trusted and believed in Mulder."
Her unspoken thought: more than she loved me.
3. EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (WEST WING CJ/Kate)
Kate Harper scanned the briefing notes in her lap as her wife concentrated on navigating the traffic flow across the city. Kate found it useful to have something to distract her whilst CJ was driving. It wasn't that CJ was a bad driver Kate knew that she was just a terrible passenger.
The traffic slowed to a halt. A minute passed then another. CJ tapped the steering wheel with her fingers then reached across Kate to switch on the radio. "You okay if I turn the radio on see if there's a traffic report?"
"Go ahead," Kate smiled. Even news of a traffic accident would be a welcome distraction from the horrors detailed in her briefing notes. She didn't know what was worse, reading about the terrorist incidents that slipped through the net or the ones that they managed to stop before they took place. The nuclear power plant near Miami for instance. There had been enough explosives packed in that truck to spread radioactive material over most of Miami-Dade County and the Everglades. Millions of people would have to have been evacuated, the area heavily contaminated for generations to come. The effect on the economy would have been disastrous. Local law enforcement had done a sterling job in preventing the atrocity and mopping up most of the cell at a local level including several key financiers and go-to guys. But there were still some key players out there and an unknown quantity of explosives and possible biological agents.
C.J. eased the car forward a few more feet then they came to a halt again. "I know you can't tell me what's got you looking so worried," she said. "It's that you're looking worried, I think. Usually you've got your game face on. Just how bad is it, potentially?"
"Potentially another 9/11. It's to do with that business down in Miami/Dade a few weeks ago."
"Where they tried to take out the nuclear power plant?" Kate just nodded. "You think they're going to try it again somewhere else?"
"You know as well as I do that there's always another target, another plan," Kate said. "We can second guess only so much. I just wish " she paused, looked away.
"Tell me " C.J. said softly. She reached over, ran her fingers down her partner's cheek. "If you can't I understand "
"I've lived my life in secret for too long, I think," Kate whispered. "It scares me sometimes that I understand so clearly how their minds work. That I can read through the intelligence reports and think yes, that's how I would have approached that objective as well or even worse, when I can see the flaws in their plan and come up with a scenario that would have succeeded where theirs failed and where the results would have been even more devastating."
"I'm just very glad that we have you on the side of the angels," C.J. said.
"But isn't that how these 'terrorists' see themselves?" Kate asked pensively. "And who is to say they are not."
And to that C.J. had no answer.
4. TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN (BABYLON 5 Susan / Delenn)
Clarke had called her a terrorist. ISN news bulletins had been carrying the interview on the hour every hour all day. Any Earthforce officer apprehending her was ordered to shoot on sight. After Sheridan she was second on Homeworld Security's 'Most Wanted' list, higher even than Garibaldi.
All she had ever wanted to do was protect and serve Earth to the best of her capabilities. How had it ever gone so wrong.
"Commander Ivanova, I hope I'm not disturbing you?" a female voice asked.
Susan paused. Before her transformation, Ambassador Delenn had been austere, reserved in that peculiarly Mimbari way that stopped just short of ignoring you completely. Since her transformation, Susan had had more to do with her, had got to know her as Delenn got to know this new half-human person she had become even guide her through some of the more arcane and personal aspects of the changes she had put herself through.
"Of course not, Ambassador Delenn. Come in. How can I help you?"
"I watched the latest ISN news broadcast. President Clarke's accusations I was just worried in case you'd taken it to heart. You know you are no terrorist."
"In the eyes of many I will be," Susan said. "Freedom fighter or terrorist two sides of the same coin. It's all in the eye of the beholder, a matter of perception. In a way I'm glad my father's not here to see this."
"He would have recognised the truth of your heart. You were his only daughter. He loved you very much," Delenn said softly.
"You never met him, never spoke to him, how could you know that?" Susan asked, her voice sharper than she intended.
"All fathers love their daughters. The time I spent with my father was some of the happiest days of my life. I miss him every day."
"Yes," Susan agreed. "Even though my father hated the idea of me joining Earthforce, especially after my brother died, he told me he was proud of me. Every time I got promoted he sent me flowers. Somehow he always knew when to find me even if I hadn't been in touch for a while."
"My father was the same," Delenn smiled. "We have much in common, Commander. My mother also died when I was very young. My father raised me as best he could but like you sometimes I wonder if I was ever the daughter he wanted. There are many times when I have been torn between the path I wanted for myself and my fears over whether my father would approve of the choices I had made. There are many on my world who regard me as a dangerous renegade for the things I have done. But like you, I know the truth."
"It's a good thing that we have this place, really," Susan smiled. "A sanctuary "
"A haven of possibilities," Delenn nodded. "Of friendships that could never otherwise have been forged. Whatever happens, Susan, if your own world does forsake you and everything falls wherever I am, there will be a place for you beside me." Delenn reached out, took Susan's hand in hers, palm to palm for a moment, before placing Susan's hand over her own heart and placing her hand on Susan's chest. "This I pledge."
Susan felt herself drawn closer. This woman knew her deepest secrets, things she'd barely been able to acknowledge in her own heart. Delenn's gaze was steady, she did not pull away. Susan's lips brushed Delenn's for a moment and then both women deepened the kiss, Susan's hands buried in Delenn's hair, fingers tracing the delicate crest of bone that rose from the Mimbari's skull. Delenn's hands were on her face, her body. This felt so good, so right.
But there wasn't time. The computer beeped, reminding her that she was due to take charge of C&C in fifteen minutes.
"I'm sorry," she gasped.
"Don't be," Delenn smiled. "Remember my pledge? We have a lifetime ahead of us. When the time is right, you will know."
When the time was right. In the middle of a war on two fronts, Susan could not see how that would ever be possible. But if Delenn could believe such a thing, then so could Susan Ivanova.
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