Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from Battle Athletes Victory, I;m just borrowing them for awhile. This story contains spoilers for BAV, so don't read it if you haven't seen the series. It also has yuri, as usual for me.

Battle Athletes Victory: Runner's Rest.

Jesse Gartland's blonde hair fell around her face as she stopped not far from the house Akari had told her about. When she had heard Akari tell her about what happened Jesse hadn't believed it, but after some effort she confirmed it was true. The tall, graceful athlete walked up the driveway slowly, taking in the trees and the odd peacefulness of the place, then walked up to the door, her blue eyes narrowed in determination.

Jesse knocked on the door then waited, shifting back and forth in her sweats. "Come in," the familiar voice called out, and Jesse opened the door and went inside.

The cabin looked very homey, with a bed, a cradle and a stove, a fridge off in the corner. It reminded one of a rustic home, even though you knew the conveniences of big city life were only a call away. It was almost the exact opposite Jesse would have expected of the person living there, and she felt herself smiling wryly as she imagined the military style home she had thought she was going to see.

"Congratulations," Ayla Roznovsky said with a slight smile, putting her baby down in the cradle, "I understand you did well against the aliens."

"We all did pretty well," Jesse admitted, "but it was Akari who did it."

Ayla shook her head, a smile teasing the silver haired woman's lips. "Having known Akari back then, I still find it hard to believe," she said.

Jesse had to smile in agreement as she said, "She was a bit hopeless when she started."

Ayla sat down on the bed, looking at Jesse thoughtfully. "So," she finally asked in that soft Russian accent, "why are you here?"

"I...," Jesse started to open her mouth, then trailed off. Honestly she didn't know what she was doing here.

Jesse found herself remembering all their races, all the competitions they had. ON the track, on the water, out in the desert they'd fought each other again and again, to the point that it grew comforting and familiar having Ayla by her side. And then it stopped, and things never felt quite so right again.

"Why did you go?" Jesse finally asked.

"You know why," Ayla gave her a look, "I was ordered to."

Jesse took a breath before saying, "Don't give me that. We both know you could have fought it and won."

Ayla paused, meeting Jesse's gaze then nodded slightly, conceding the point. "I could have," she admitted, "but I didn't."

"Then why...?" Jesse asked, feeling the frustration welling up in her. When Ayla had dropped out of the triathlon, taking their final confrontation away from her she had felt bereft... almost as if a member of her family had died.

Ayla shrugged slightly, "Because once the race was over, it would have to end."

Jesse blinked in surprise as she looked down at the other woman and asked, "What do you mean, end?"

"Even if we tied again, somehow," Ayla looked up to meet her eyes, "we couldn't have continued on much longer. One or the other would have made it to the Satellite, and then it would be over." She sighed, "I just ended it a bit sooner."

"No, we could have made it together...." Jesse sighed as she sat down beside Ayla, taking her hands, "we could have done it."

Ayla gave her a searching look, then quietly said, "I'm sorry."

Jesse gave her a odd look, "I'm not used to you being this meek."

Ayla smiled suddenly, "Motherhood does things to you."

"I can imagine," Jesse admitted as she reluctantly looked away from Ayla and over to the baby. It looked nice enough, as far as babies went. It had the required fingers and toes and even better had Ayla's eyes, which were staring up at her with interest.

Ayla gave her a impish look, "What do you think?"

Honestly Jesse replied, "She looks like you."

"Thank you," Ayla said as she picked up her now softly cooing child. As the baby reached out curiously to Jesse she smiled and passed the baby over, "Here."

"Eh?!" Jesse took the baby in her arms reflexedly, the little girl looking up a her cheerfully. While part of her was scared stiff she'd drop the child she found it oddly comfortable holding her, the little one waving her hands cheerfully.

"Aglbt," the baby made a incoherent noise, seemingly fascinated by Jesse's golden hair.

"Ouch," Jesse winced as the baby clutched her hair, grabbing at it with one pudgy fist.

Ayla laughed softly as she said, "She inherited my grip, it seems." Carefully she pried the little fingers free, the two women standing close together.

"Ayla," Jesse murmured as she looked into her eyes, "that guy Akari said you were with... is he really your husband?"

Ayla hesitated in carefully easing the golden hair from the clutching fingers. "How did you know?" she asked softly.

"I didn't, but...." Jesse shrugged awkwardly, "I couldn't see you just suddenly shaking up with a guy."

"He was the sperm donor," Ayla admitted as she finally eased the last of the golden hair from the baby's grip.

"I'm glad," Jesse admitted as she carefully put the baby back in the crib.

Ayla looked at her questioningly, "Why was that important?"

"Because if you were married," Jesse said as she pushed some of Ayla's silver hair back, "I couldn't do this." With that she gently pressed her lips to those of the slightly taller girl, feeling Ayla stiffen in surprise then relax into the kiss.

Ayla gave Jesse a questioning look, "The rumors all said you didn't like girls like that...."

Jesse blushed, "That girl who confessed to me?" As Ayla nodded Jesse continued, "I know I didn't react well, but having a complete stranger tell you they're in love with you is a bit startling...."

Ayla smiled, "I suppose so."

Jesse quietly asked, "So, you were interested?"

"Very," Ayla agreed as she kissed her again, lingeringly. "Another reason I knew I had to go," she murmured to Jesse, "I thought I would have to approach you eventually, and I was worried you'd say no."

"Not likely," Jesse laughed warmly, kissing her again.

"Aglblt," the baby noted cheerfully, waving her hands at the two women kissing.

Ayla pulled back reluctantly, "Sorry, I need to check on her." Quickly noting a full diaper she bundled the baby over to the table to be changed as she sighed, "Sorry about this."

"I think I can get used to it," Jesse wryly noted.

Ayla efficiently changed the baby then set her down in the crib, then turned to Jesse. "Does that mean," she smiled a bit nervously, "you'll be sticking around?"

"You couldn't drag me away," Jesse smiled warmly.


Notes: While I enjoyed Battle Athletes Victory, I was very disappointed with how the Ayla and Jesse plotline was resolved. In the first episodes these friendly rivals seemed to simmer with tension as Akari's plotline progressed, then suddenly Ayla was pulled out of the school. Her next appearance, she's unexplainedly having a baby! WTF?! So, this is my attempt to resolve that....