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by Lopaka Tanu

"I do not understand." Staring at Da'an, Boone barely managed to keep his face as bland and emotionless as he was supposed to be. The struggle was not made any easier by the recent revelation. "You 'shared' with her. What exactly does that mean?"

Turning his head slightly, Da'an stared down from his chair to Boone. "That is a private matter between myself and Captain Marquette."

Boone took a step towards the Taelon. Taking a calming breath, he stood his ground against the alien's disapproving look. "Forgive me, but that is not an acceptable response, Da'an." He knew this could turn ugly quickly, so he had to speak fast. "Without a proper reference, there are those who might believe you took advantage of her sexually."

That caused Da'an's facade to ripple. Turning his face to stare directly at the Human, he rose from the lotus chair. His fingers twitched, yet he did not speak.

"I mean you no disrespect." Back going straight, Boone swallowed down the sick feeling that started in his stomach. It tried to make its way back up again, so he sucked in a quick breath. "It's just that you're still so very, for lack of a better word, alien to us."

Da'an carefully stepped down from the chair. Eyes narrowing, he continued to observe his protector for several more seconds. Then, without even acknowledging the man, he turned and walked around his chair.

Unable to come up with anything to ease the tension in the situation, Boone silently watched Da'an walk up the ramp to the garden. The moment the blue jumpsuit disappeared through entrance he closed his eyes. Dropping his head to his chest, he mentally cursed Johnathan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"How dare you!" Lili's hissed words echoed in the dim light of the elevator. Going down, her hand went to her hip, just above her holster. "You had no right!"

Unable to just stand by, Boone twisted on her. "No right? Lili, he's an alien! No matter how much we might like him, we still know almost nothing about him." In the face of her anger, he knew he what he had done was wrong. Yet, he had wanted to know. "You could have been hurt."

"That's a lame justification and you know it!" She opened her mouth to say something else, then thought better of it. Looking away, she shook her head in anger. "You screwed up today, Boone. Not only with me, but with Da'an. Did you even think about how he might take this?"

"Yes." It was a lie. He had tried to come up with an answer, but in reality, Boone hadn't been able to rationally think about it. His own flimsy excuses were no where to be found now.

Silence filled the space between them.

Feeling it press him in, Boone sighed and looked to the ceiling. "You're right. I'm sorry."

"You're damn right I'm right." Setting her jaw, she refused to look at him. The very question itself upset her. It felt wrong to even imply that there was something sexual about it. "What he and I shared, it was something special. I have never felt like that in all my life and I cherish that experience. Thanks for trying to ruin it."

Looking her way, he noticed she was shaking. Her face was turning bright red and her fists were clenched. "Lili."

"Don't bother." A moment later, the doors opened with a hiss, letting her out. Ignoring him, she stomped off the elevator in to the chamber beyond. Moving down the steps, she sent a glare Johnathan's way. She knew he had a hand in this and wasn't about to let him forget that.

Still on the elevator, Boone watched the bustling nerve center beyond. They were working hard to keep the world safe from what was believed to be an alien threat. What threat they posed was still up for debate.

One thing, Boone was certain, they had no intention of doing.

Reaching up, Boone slapped the control panel. There was something he needed to take care of before he could get on with his duty. As the doors closed he adjusted his jacket and prayed it wasn't too late.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Da'an stood with his back to the door, watching the Human traffic in the city. Between his fingers, a blue blossom sparkled brilliantly.

He was still in the garden when Boone found him. All the way back to the Embassy, his mind had raced over what exactly he might say to make this right. After all that time, he had come to one conclusion, there was nothing.

He had screwed up majorly.

Walking in to the garden, Boone tried to be quiet. Despite his best efforts, his heavy boots thudded against the bioslurry floor.

The sound reached Da'an, causing his facade to blush. Turning his hand over, he cocked his head to the side. "Have you come to press the Human Liberation's agenda for them?"

"No." Cheeks flaming, Boone came to a halt two feet behind the Taelon. The words he had been building flashed through his mind, but he quickly discarded them. It was best to play this by ear from here on out. "I actually came to apologize."

Da'an refused to speak. Instead, he chose to completely turn away again. Facing out over the city, he released the flower.

"What I said earlier." Licking his lips, Boone cleared his throat. "I was jealous, I realize that now."

There was no response.

Closing his eyes, William fought with the urge to do something more. He was a Protector, they did not grovel, no matter how much the situation might call for it. All he could do was speak the truth.

So, with another calming breath, he continued. "In my mind, I let my jealousy twist the facts. This lead me to question your motives. A mistake, I realize now. There was no impropriety on your part or that of Captain Marquette." He had to swallow before he could speak again. "Um, there is no excuse for my actions. I was way out of line and ask that you forgive me. You can trust that this won't happen again."

He finished with a wipe of his forehead. Surprised, he stared at his hand. Boone hadn't even realized he was sweating. Had he really lost that much of his control? The gentle voice of his Companion spooked him from his thoughts.

"You have said many things, and yet, not that which is most important to your species." Da'an's voice held no rebuke, merely curiosity.

Frowning, Boone played over everything in his mind. There was nothing he could remember. "What is that?"

"You did not apologize." Glancing at the Human from the corner of his eye, Da'an raised his brow. "In your species, great emphasis is placed upon the actual words themselves. While you explained your actions, and asked for my forgiveness, you did not, in fact, say you were sorry."

"Da'an..." Boone tried, but a look from the Taelon silenced him.

Looking down, Da'an's hands went to his sides. His fingers splayed then retracted. "I forgive you, Commander, for being only Human."

Clenching his eyes shut, Boone took a shuddering breath. This time, he didn't bother to hide his emotions. "I live to serve."

"Do not." The words were sharp, cutting off the attempt. "I wish to be alone with my thoughts."

Boone was only slightly surprised by the phrase. He knew that Da'an was never alone with his thoughts. So, it was a polite way of dismissing him without saying it. Saluting the Companion, he inclined his head. "Of course."

Left behind, Da'an watched Boone's retreating reflection in the virtual glass.

 

 

THE END................................................