(spoilers for GEARS OF WAR: ASPHO FIELDS. Reading it first is recommended. Enjoy :D)

I don't own any of the characters, blah blah blah.

Just enjoy. R&R?

I'm not completely happy with this, .......

so I'm probably going to edit this sometime in the future when my writers funk is gone.. -_e

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Anya bit her fingernail, a habit that didn't take too long to form. She spread her fingers and examined them. Wow my nails are horrible. I should really stop or I'll end up chewing off my own arm one of these damn days! She looked around her cluttered office and let out a loud sigh. "I really need to clean this.. whenever 'one of these days' ever rears its ugly head."

The room resembled the oval office of the White House, but more dark and gloomy rather then bright and fancy. Computer screens loomed in every corner with either static or random live feed security cameras from around the COG facility. They lit the entire room with green light. The only thing that seemed to stand out was the navigation table in the center of the room and a large wooden desk off to the far wall. The table gave off the only normal florescent light, a great change when all you're used to seeing is green.

Anya looked down at the map that Hoffman had given her. Again, she resumed biting her nails. I really can't handle this right now.. she thought, pinching the bridge of her nose. Before she could turn off the light on the navigation table to relieve her of maybe a few minutes sleep, she heard a soft knock at her office door. She waited to hear a name announced, and nothing. Squinting her eyes, she looked at the clock and noticed it was one in the morning. She slowly walked to the door cursing the clunks of her heels. She smoothed down her grey uniform and yanked open the hatch only to see a tall dark figure looming over her. Her eyes widened as the figure came closer, but felt relieved when the splash of green light revealed that it was just Marcus.

"Oh," she said quietly, "it's just you. I almost kicked you! Why didn't you say anything?"

Marcus just stood there for a moment. "Kicked me?" He let out a sound of amusement.

She ushered him in and closed the door quietly. As he entered the room, she let her eyes wander over him. He looked extremely attractive in just an olive tank top and standard issue black cargo pants. They accentuated every rigid muscle that magnificently defined the V shape of a real man.

"Is there something wrong?" She noticed he was automatically heading towards the map.

"No. Just couldn't sleep."

"Huh..." She looked at him sideways.

Marcus put his hands on either side of the table and darted his eyes across the map. She walked towards the map, attempting not to look like someone who hasn't slept for three days.

"You know, you should get more sleep." Marcus said, still eying the map.

"Well look whose talking." Wow, he must be a mind reader.

Un-readably amused by that, he looked up at her. "I'm just concerned."

"For?"

"You."

"Why me? I'm fine. I wish everyone would just stop worrying about me."

Marcus looked at her. "Why can't I worry about you?" He straightened up and got closer, close enough for her to extend her arms halfway and touch him. "Gimmie a reason."

She wanted to hug him and get the comfort of a mans embrace for once. She almost felt embarrassed that she didn't know how to act. Her mother never let her date anyone, and made her study everything COG until she took over her place. What did she know about intimacy? Or even a simple hug for that matter.

"Um.." She looked away, "I don't know." She looked back at him to see him staring at her with his ghost blue eyes. "I... I don't know what to say." She felt her cheeks flush.

"You don't have to say anything." His tone seemed to soften. Her heart raced as she realized she really couldn't find the words to say. She wanted to hug him, she wanted to run. Which should she do first? They stayed close to each other for a few moments, thoughts churning on what to say next. She decided to break the silence.

"So.. why did you come here again?"

The green light cast a shadow upon his eyes for a moment, skewing his gaze. A flicker brought it back. "I'm worried about you. I guess I'm just like everyone else who's concerned and can't be?

"I thought you told me you couldn't sleep." she huffed jokingly.

"That's not a complete lie."

Anya blushed at that. She probably sounded like a babbling idiot. He turned toward the map again. The familiarity flowed through him. Running his eyes through the longitude and latitude, he saw it. The bridge. Anya must have seen his expression.

"Aspho Fields." Anya said softly. Eyes unmoving from the map, Marcus visibly tensed and let out some sort of a grunt she couldn't figure out.

"Why", he let his eyes narrow, "what could we possible take from there?"

"Hoffman wants rebuild the bridge so we can make another base there." Marcus blinked more frequently, his tell tale sign of surprise or any emotion.

Dom's brother Carlos died blowing that bridge, and saving Marcus in the process. He sacrificed himself for everyone else, leaving Marcus to blame himself all these years for not saving him in time. Carlos pulled the pin, there was no way that he'd let anyone stop him.

"Why? That's fucking stupid. Is he out of his goddamn mind?"

"It's not the smartest idea.." She crossed her arms as though she were hugging herself. "He doesn't understand.." She trailed off.

"He doesn't remember what happened there, does he.." Marcus said more to himself then out loud.

Marcus looked up at her only to see her walking away to one of the computer screens on the far wall near her desk. She wasn't looking at any one of them in particular, just staring past them.

"He has no right.. that's a burial ground.. all we have to remember.." A choke of her last word gave her emotion away.

Marcus slowly walked behind her and put a heavy hand on her shoulder. He never had to say anything, he was always just there. His presence alone gave great comfort to her. "We don't have many more choices. We're slowly running out of options."

"So why Aspho if there are other options? Aspho is unstable. The locust mapped the whole place by now.. why endanger us? The whole fucking COG?"

Still turned from him, Anya let the water that blurred her vision fall to the floor. Subconsciously she wiped them away with her fingers. He knew she was crying now. She couldn't turn herself around to face him, so he did it for her. Hand still on her shoulder, he softened his gaze to her slightly hunched form.

"I know its hard." He said totally out of character.

Suddenly overcome with emotion from his words, Anya turned into him and pressed against his chest, wrapping his waist. Marcus was a shocked as she was. She sobbed as he brought his arms around her, holding her closer. A few moments passed before he spoke. "I'm sorry about your mother. She wouldn't let us come with her.-"

"I never.. got to tell her.. how I felt.." she interrupted quietly though broken sobs. "I loved her so much Marcus.. she was the only family I had. Now I'm all alone..", she hesitated, "do you know what it's like to hear your mother die.. and have to report it yourself with no emotion? To have to stay and finish your shift like nothing happened? How inhuman is that?"

As he held her there, he felt his hand stroking her head. He didn't even realize he'd done it. Her hair was soft to his hands. It was amazing how she just opened him up, slipped through a crack in his defenses.

"I know.." Marcus replied distantly.

His hand moving through her hair was like a rhythmic lullaby to her, something she couldn't put into words. His arms were strong and usually intimidating.. but now, they were her castle walls, keeping her from the memories she too often relived. As he stroked her hair, it slowly found its way out of the pins that held it back so loosely. The pins fell with a few soft kicks to the metal floor. Her hair came undone and fell to her shoulders lightly grazing them. Dazed slightly, she slowly moved her head from his now tear stained tank with a sheepish look up at him. Her eyes were glazed, her nose was red, an her hair was messy. She must have looked like a train wreck.

"You're so beautiful." He said quietly, placing his hand on her delicate cheek.

She was speechless. What did he just say? She searched his eyes while opening her mouth as if to say something, but she was stopped by the touch of his lips. The action was so abrupt, it caught her off guard. Anya tensed at first, then let her body slowly relax.

Marcus put one calloused hand on the back of her head, and the other wrapped around her waist, pulling her closer. His tender kiss slowly came to kisses, her lips followed suit. She felt something hard push against her as he held her tighter.

lowly moved her hand to his bandanna and slipped it off, revealing his messy black hair.

He swooped her up into his arms and moved over to her desk, placing her on top of it. She let one hand stray to his back, slipping under his tank. The farther up she let her hand go, the more scars she felt.

"Marcus," she breathed, "we shouldn't be-"

Their lips crushed together again as he lifted one of her legs up against his thigh. His hand slowly slid up her leg, grazing the end of her pants that connected with her skirt. Anya wanted to stop him, but she couldn't resist anymore. She wanted this. But would it really happen right here in her office?

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Anya didn't know how long they were there. When she finally opened her eyes, she was laying on her desk, and Marcus' bare body was against her own. Little beads of sweat rolled off his heaving chest and onto hers. Her labored breaths slowed as she let what just happened sink in.

"Marcus.." She whispered.

Marcus stayed in the same position, completely and unashamedly comfortable with his own skin. Anya gave way to her temptation and let her eyes trail from his eyes to his torso. No sooner did her eyes get there, she shot them away sporting a nice rosy color to her face.

Marcus slightly cocked an eyebrow at her. "What?"

"Nothing.." Her cheeks were fire engine red at this point.

Marcus decided to rid the bashful look on her face with a slow nip to her ear. A purr escaped her throat, giving Marcus a small satisfied grin. Anya turned her gaze toward the clock on her wall.

"Oh my God, it's 3am.."

"Really? Didn't notice." He smirked.

"Marcus we have to get up!"

"Says who?"

"Says anyone that can walk in here and find us.. naked.. on my desk.."

With an amused grunt, he pulled her body against his. "Do you really want to?"

Anya bit her lip.

"I take that as a no." Marcus bent his head down to nibble her neck.

"Okay, okay, you got me. But we really can't stay here like this."

Marcus sighed and got off the desk, dressing quietly. He handed the grey uniform to her and put his bandanna back on his head. Anya dressed slowly, letting everything sink in. Did this all really just happen? She struggled with her back zipper for a few moments before a strong pair of hands zipped it slowly for her.

"Thank you."

They stood in front of each other, red blotches still on their faces. Anya saw a part of him that was more human then she could imagine. He wasn't the shady figure everyone called him out to be before she met him. He was different, and he was hers.

Marcus pulled her into an embrace, her head resting close to his shoulder.

"You're all i have, Marcus.." she said quietly.

He kissed her forehead ever so lightly.

"You need to get some sleep." He said into her hair.

"I never do.. I'm used to it."

"You need to take better care of yourself. Delta needs you.." he moved back so he locked eyes with her, "I need you."

Anya searched his eyes. "Aw.. Marcus.. I don't know what to say."

"You don't need to say anything." He placed a hand on her cheek. "Just promise me something."

She paused for a moment. "Anything.."

Marcus inched closer to her face. "Don't give up on us.."

Anya's eyes softened as a smile poked the cracks of her lips. "I would never."

Through parted lips, Marcus whispered "I love you..", and met hers for one last time.

He drank in her expression as he slowly pulled away, then turned and walked out of her office. She almost didn't hear the door shut.

Was that Marcus? Moments passed by as she stood in the exact same place. Gently touching her lip, she smiled and whispered "I love you too.." but he was already gone.