Love's Journey

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Marcus and Neroon, or anyone else from Babylon 5.

Authors notes: Rated PG-13 Contains slash: two males in a romantic/sexual (although not explicit) relationship. If this offends you please turn back now.

I am not sure what year this would take place, but after the Denn'sha challenge and the episode where Susan gets hurt (which never happened in my story.) So basically after the Shadows have been defeated.

Marcus POV

I was on my way to see Stephen Franklin, the CMO for Babylon Five, when I received a summons from Delenn to meet her at her quarters. Having spent many enjoyable evenings with Delenn drinking tea and talking philosophy, I could tell that this was an official summons from Ranger One by the difference in her tone of voice. Before I entered her quarters I subconsciously altered my stance to a more respectful and firm position. Upon entering her quarters I was struck once again at how at ease these surrounding made me. I generally let my guard down and could be comfortable here, but this wasn't a social visit.

"Marcus, please be seated." Delenn suggested, gesturing with a hand for me to sit beside her on the couch. As I sat, I carefully watched her facial features, and I could tell that whatever it was that she was about to tell me troubled her a great deal. "Have you heard about the dissent on Minbar?"

"If you mean the," I paused and smiled wryly, "friction between the Warrior Caste and the Rangers, yes. Unfortunately, no one seems to have any idea how to resolve the situation." I left it there, hoping for further explanation. I didn't have long to wait.

"That is part of it Marcus, but not all. Shakiri was forced to step down as leader of his Caste when it was revealed that he ordered Neroon to kill me. Minbari do not kill Minbari.! The other clans then called for his removal, and will soon name Neroon the new leader of the Warrior Caste. There will be a ceremony in a weeks time to make it official. Alit Neroon has requested you as his bodyguard." Delenn explained.

Bloody hell, he's off his rocker. A few months ago he almost kills me in Denn'sha, now he wants me to watch his back. What is he thinking? "Of course I will, but won't this cause more fighting among the Rangers and Caste members?"

"That is why you are there, to keep the infighting to a minimum. Also, you must watch the Minbari as well as the Rangers. Members of both groups have cause to make sure Neroon doesn't make the Right of Ascension." Delenn replied while watching me for my reaction. Nothing of my thoughts showed on my face however and she gave up trying.

"When is he arriving?"

"The Ingata will be arriving within the next three hours. I will meet you in Docking Bay 3 at 0200." Delenn told me while standing up and escorting me to the door. "I will see you then ."

Three hours later I found myself walking beside Delenn carrying my pike and a small duffle bag over my shoulder on my way to meet Neroon and his fellow StarRiders. Upon entering the docking bay I saw a small gathering of Minbari waiting for our arrival. At the very front of the group stood Alit Neroon, in all his daunting glory. He looked a sight in his formal Caste attire, which I hadn't had the opportunity to see before. He was wearing a black tunic and cloak with a shoulder pin of the sun holding it in place. His breeches were made of the same material as the cloak, and tucked into them was a metal plated vest. Overall the effect was stunning. Needless to say I was speechless when we first entered the room.

Thank god for Delenn because I would have been content to stare at Neroon for a bit longer, and knowing my luck caused an interstellar incident. "Alit Neroon it is good to see you under less stressful circumstances." Delenn, ever the diplomat, said while bowing at a respectful distance.

Neroon soon followed suit, though he bowed lower to the ground, thereby showing the proper respect to Delenn and her rank. "Entil'zha, a pleasure." Neroon replied. I would have never guessed that these two don't like each other. Perhaps Delenn isn't the only diplomat in the room.

"Anla'shoc Cole." Neroon acknowledged my presence thereby bringing me out of my thoughts. I was startled however when he extended his pike right in front of my face. I had to force myself not to take a step back. "An honor to have a fellow warrior at my back." Neroon continued, projecting his voice so that all his warriors could hear the exchange.

"Alit Neroon." I acknowledged while bowing deeply to show my respect for the great warrior. After rising to my full height I extended my pike in exactly the same fashion as Neroon, so that our pikes crossed and our hands touched. "The honor is mine."

As I looked into Neroon's eyes I expected to find evidence of the fierce warrior I met in Downbelow. All I saw however, was a warmth that seemed out of place in the strong warrior's gaze, directed at me. That regard had the power to unfurl heat in my belly that spread itself outward, causing me to smile what I'm sure was an idiotic looking grin at Neroon. Who, to my surprise, returned it before turning back to Delenn, after retracting his pike to say his goodbyes. I followed his example and put my pike back in the holder I keep for it at my waist. By this time Neroon has stepped back from Delenn and I tack his place in front of her holding on to both her hands.

"I will send a report after I get to Minbar, Delenn. " I murmured while squeezing her hands in my larger ones. I knew I would miss her greatly, even if it is for only a little over a week. She has been one of my good friends since my arrival here on Babylon 5.

"Good luck Marcus, I will be waiting to hear from you." Delenn responded in kind, keeping her voice low, while returning the hand gesture. Abruptly we both straightened our posture and I let go of her hands. Keeping my posture erect I started to make my way to Neroon and his ship. Just as Neroon was about to enter the Ignata he stopped and waited for me to catch up, and with a guiding hand on my arm we entered together.