Author’s Note: Thanks to medie for giving me the prompt for this one! Title is from “What I Did for Love”, from A Chorus Line.
Written for: ariestess for fandom_stocking.
The change was subtle, like the quiet snick of a door closing behind someone who didn’t want to be heard. It wasn’t the actual door closing, though, that woke Talia. It was the absence. One moment Susan’s mind was there, their dreams twined together, and the next she was gone.
Talia reached for her without thinking, her fingers ghosting across the sheets. But both the mattress and the space in her thoughts were empty. There wasn’t even a dent in either to mark where Susan had been.
Only then did she open her eyes. Susan? The thought slipped free of its own volition, already as natural as breathing, but there was no response save for a faint echo of fear, muted by distance, from somewhere outside herself.
Now fully alert, Talia stared for a moment in the general direction of the ceiling. It was hard to say which was more unsettling: the fears that she knew had roused Susan from sleep and from their bed, or the fact that she was already so attuned to her lover’s thoughts that the withdrawal of them was enough to wake her.
It shouldn’t have been possible. That it was set her heart racing with something that was as much terror as it was desire. Talia’d thought she understood Susan’s fear of the Corps before. Now…now she knew just how deep that fear ran and why.
Fragments of it still prickled at the back of her thoughts like icy fingers dancing along her spine. She shivered with the intensity of it.
Talia wondered absurdly if Kosh had known something like this was coming. If that, as much as what she knew about him, had been why he’d insisted she remain on the station after…well, after. Even Psi Corps hadn’t quite had the nerve to defy the Vorlon Empire, so remain she had, even though she knew they must’ve been dying to get their hands on the information in her mind.
Funny how the secret she knew now changed so much more, even though in the grand scheme of things it was so much smaller.
Decision made, Talia slipped out of bed and called for light, pulling on the same clothes that she had discarded last night. Kosh had offered her a choice, once, even though she hadn’t recognized it as such at the time. Or maybe she had, but the price he’d demanded had seemed too high. Now…the idea of being scanned by a Vorlon–even of going to the Vorlon homeworld and letting them do God only knew what to her–frightened her far less than the possibility that Psi Corps might find a way to overcome Jason’s gift and tear this precious secret from her. She would die before she’d let that happen.
Glancing behind her as she closed the door, Talia studied the room that she wasn’t sure she’d ever come back to. But if she didn’t, it would be a small price to pay for Susan’s safety.
Kosh had offered her a choice, once. She could only hope the offer was still open.