SPARTANS cannot love

As fate seems to keep tossing a female marine and a SPARTAN-061 into the same path over and over, the marine cannot help but think it's the work of destiny.

Disclaimer: I do not own Halo, or anything really.

SPARTAN-061; Marik, stood with his back pushed against his cover of a concrete wall, blue and green plasma bolts peppering the area around him, his green Mark V armor baring small burns and scars from his combat on the planet 'Sera' in the Eridanus system. he and several other SPARTANs and marines were to take the Covenant stronghold. A city square where they were setting up a foothold to drop troops and supplies.

"Keep the fire on them!" the sergeant called out over the com. Marik frowned behind his visor and took a peek as best he could, he saw waves of Grunts in the buildings, several Blue and red armor elites as well, they were firing and keeping the enemy at bay, they had the high ground and the area Marik and the marines had to cross was open with barely any cover to hide behind.

It was a perfect kill ground and Covenant knew it.

"Damnit! They're just going to keep us pinned here while they call in reinforcements!" a private yelled.

Marik had to agree, that's what he would do. "This is SPARTAN-058, Me, 093 and 117 are on scene to provide covering fire for your advance." Marik nodded even though they couldn't see it and he instantly felt a hint of pity for the Covenant forces. Linda, Grace and John were here and that Made four SPARTAN II's against waves of Covenant.

Just as it should be, the odds were evened out.

"You heard the lady!" the sergeant cheered as he pointed towards the covenant position as snipers shots began to pick off the various covenant forces in the windows. "Lets get in there and kick some ass!" with that he and fifteen other marines left their covers and charged the enemy position.

Marik left his cover with his MA5B assault rifle firing as he went, even at this distance he scored some kills as he easily passed the marines in his own speed to leap over a car to land on a fleeing grunt, there was a squeal then he rushed forward into the large building and as soon as he cleared the doorway he was greeted by a long hall with grunts and jackals positioned at the end.

The Jackals were carrying Beam rifles.

Marik heard the marines enter behind him, the Covenant forces raised their weapon and glowed, he knew he couldn't save all the marines that would be caught in the fire, turning quickly he grabbed the nearest marine and pulled him and the marine off to the side as the plasma bolts and beams soared past, some connecting with his shields, which flickered and died after three plasma pistol hits, pulling the marine against the wall with him he watched as the others were cut down.

He stared down at the marine, "Are you injured?" he asked, his voice level and emotionless as every SPARTAN.

The marine lifted his, or as Marik now knew, her head to meet his gaze, as she was much shorter than him, her eyes showed her shock and confusion at having witnessed her comrades demise not a short five seconds ago. Slowly, she nodded wordlessly.

He nodded in return. pulling a SMG from his hip he held it to her "Take it and when I say go, cover me," he instructed. She nodded again.

He turned the corner and immediately his shields flickered as the grunts fired in a panic, yelling "Demon!" in their high pitched voices. He ignored their words and raised his assault rifle he fired into them, the rounds punching through armor and tearing flesh. a Jackal raised it own's beam rifle to try and take Marik, but SMG fire caught it's side and made it flinch, missing as Marik closed in and gripped it's thin neck in a vice grip. there was a sickening crack as Marik snapped it's neck.

It was over from there…

Several hours later Marik, Grace, Linda and John were boarding a Pelican and the surviving marines were boarding there own. but one approached the SPARTANs "Sirs…" the voice was timid, but still held the air of toughness Marines needed. Marik lifted his head and saw it was the same marine he saved, "I've been ordered to ride in this Pelican…" she stated hesitant to ride with them.

"Hop in." John said carelessly as he examined his own MA5B assault rifle, Linda was seated next to Marik and Grace next to John, there was plenty of room left on the Pelican. the marine stepped inside and took a spot next to Marik. the SPARTANs helmets were on, but he had a feeling she knew which of them he was.

The pelicans lifted off and they were on their way to their next hot zone.

"Thank you…" The same voice of the marine next to him stirred Marik from his thoughts, turning ever so slightly he stared at the Marine, who was facing him in her seat "For pulling me out of the line of fire back there…I appreciate it." she said, then he faced her. no noticed her cheeks turned red, which was hard to tell with all the dirt and grime that covered her light colored skin.

"Anytime." Marik replied boredly, turning back to his own weapon and continuing to inspect it. He then noticed that Linda opened a private channel to him. "Yeah?" he asked knowing everyone else wouldn't hear him.

"She's trying to get your attention." was Linda's blunt reply.

Marik turned to the marine, who was lightly tapping his shoulder. No wonder I didn't feel it, she's not hitting hard enough he thought, he didn't feel it at all when she tapped him. "Yes, ma'am?" he asked.

She snapped her head up with her eyes meeting his orange visor. "I wanted to know if you wanted this back…" she lifted the SMG from her lap.

"Keep it." Marik said simply, she lowered it back to her lap, then continued to stare at it and Marik turned back to his own weapon.

Then a voice played through the silence of the Pelican, "SPARTANs! You got new orders! You're being dropped off at a nearby hot zone to help secure it from Covenant hands! Arm up and get ready to kick some ass!" the pilot called.

John raised his head, "Linda, Grace, Marik…" he called, the three SPARTANs snapped to attention on instinct, "Ammo up, check over them and prepare to drop hot," John went on "We've got a war to fight."

The three SPARTANs nodded.

Marik knew even as he continued to fight the Covenant that this wasn't the first encounter he'd have with the female marine.

He was right…

Days later…

Marik was aboard the Signs of life cruiser, along with a medium contingant of marines and vehicles, there were also two other SPARTANs onboard, 087- Kelly and 101-Victor. All three of the SPARTANs were in the gym area, Marik was lifting weights while Victor and Kelly played basketball one on one, seeing as no one else could keep up with them. but it was obvious Kelly was winning. no one, not even her fellow SPARTANs could keep up with her, with or without the MJOLNIR armor.

Lifting weights was fairly easy for Marik, only time he trouble was when he reached the 125 pounds, for his single arms, "Hey!" someone took a seat nearby, turning he saw it was the female marine again. "Mind if I?" she gestured to his various weights and he figured she must have been cleaning.

"Go ahead…" Marik replied. the marine tensed then stared at him like he was a ghost. Marik stopped his exercises and glanced at her.

Her dirt covered face was now clean, her short dark hair was also well kept and her face was red again. Marik frowned, staring down at himself for something on his clothes.

Marik wasn't wearing his armor, like he and all the other SPARTANs who were off duty he wore plain, slightly baggy sweat pants, and a loose green T-shirt with running shoes. He turned back to her when he saw nothing was wrong, "Is there something wrong? Ma'am." he asked.

The marine shook her head, she wearing the same thing he was, as was everyone else who was off duty, "No…" she replied, her voice nervous, but she was trying to hide it, "I just didn't think it was you…the Spartan from before…" she turned away, "You probably don't remember me anyways."

Marik shook his head, "I remember you," he replied easily. "You're the marine I saved from the covenant in the hall," he explained, "You thanked me afterwards on the pelican." he added from memory.

She brightened considerably at his words, her eyes shone with emotions he couldn't pinpoint. "You remembered me, nice." she said grinning at him as he tilted his head, holding out her hand "I'm Kayla, Kayla Anderson." she greeted him warmly.

Marik raised a brow, then lifted his own hand to take hers and gave it a small shake. "Marik-061." he returned the greeting, her cheeks turned red again when his pale hand met her own. he nearly frowned in confusion but made his face stay impassive.

"Nice to meet you, Marik." she said, pulling her hand away and smiling.

"Likewise." Marik returned politely, dividing his attention from lifting the weights and chatting with this curious Marine. normally the marines stuck to themselves, and SPARTANs never tried to start conversations.

Several seconds of silence dragged on till she broke it. "So, Marik…" she began as if thinking of a good question. "What it's like being a SPARTAN?" she finally asked with a warm smile.

Marik put his weight down then turned to her, his hair was short brown, eyes a dull blue and his face was young, seeing as he was only 26, scarless, except for the one that ran over his forehead into his hair. "It's…challenging," he replied, "SPARTANs are deployed to one battlefield after another with only the ride on the pelicans between them as rest, we've helped take planets and stations in days with this sort of deployment and as SPARTANs we're always deployed in teams of three or four...sometimes more for special missions." he explained, not going into anything classified. "It's…more than most can handle, we've been trained since we were young." he explained.

"How young?" she asked curiously, staring at him in anticipation as if he was some great storyteller. He was about to tell her it was classified, but he was interrupted by Kelly.

"Hey! Marik! Come play some ball! Maybe if you and Victor team up you might score against me!" Kelly called while still weaving and dodging around Victor as she spoke and Victor showing clear signs of irritation as he struggled to keep up with her.

Marik turned to the marine, Kayla. "I'm sorry, but my friend needs help," he said standing and stretching as he did, "It was a pleasure talking to you." he said curtly as he moved towards the court.

Kayla stared after him…and it would not be the last time they encountered each other.

A week later…

Marik, John and Linda moved through the barren streets of a city battleground, their MJOLNIR armor gleaming in the sun that was hanging over them, "Master Chief! This is post 08! We're taking a pounding from Wraiths on the other side of the city center! We can hold here but those Wraiths need to be taken down before they bring down the buildings!" A lieutenant called into the com.

"Sir…yes sir," John replied, "We're on our way as we speak sir, Those Wraiths won't know what hit them." he stated and it was true, SPARTANs entered combat situations and they were over in seconds if the attack went as planned.

Another transmission was heard soon after the first, "Come in! anyone!" the voice was female, one Marik recognized, "This is patrol group 12, we're under fire from Covenant forces on road 252! We need immediate assistance! Please respond!" her voice was urgent, borderline panicking.

John raised his head. "Marik, handle that, then meet me and Linda at the target zone." he ordered.

"Understood, Chief." Marik broke off from the other two SPARTANs and made his way towards the said road where the transmission came from and finally he was there…

The Worthog was flipped and on fire beside a small conveniance store, the armor nearly melted off the frame as plasma fire from two elite Majors and a single Ultra Elite showered it. he could briefly see Kayla trying feebly to return fire with her Assault rifle. But it was useless as the Elites shields didn't die out from the shots.

Marik sprinted forward while attaching his SMG to his thigh, running up behind it he grabbed one of the Major Elites and snapped it's neck, before it could fall he grabbed it's plasma rifle and fired on the second Major, downing it's shields near instantly. bringing up his SMG he fired several rounds into it's stomach and face.

That was as far as Marik got before the Ultra turned it's dual Plasma rifles on him, opening fire as Marik leapt to the side behind a nearby car as the Elite completely forgot about Kayla, it's attention focused solely on Marik as the elite continued to fire as the car shook with the impacts. Marik pulled a frag from his waist, primed it, then tossed after a second, the grenade exploded at the Elite's feet.

And when the dust cleared the Elite was still standing, it's shields flickered, but didn't go down, it took more steps as it fired. Marik frowned, then noted the Energy sword hilt at the dead Major's hip, he had an idea.

darting from his cover he rushed the elite, who fired in return, soon Marik's shields flickered and died under the fire and his shoulder burned as a shot connected with it, but he crashed into the Elite which knocked them both to the ground. when the elite pushed the 'barrel' of the plasma rifle to the side of Marik's head, with a quick lean back the shots missed. Marik then grabbed the Elite by the wrists, pinning it beneath him as the Elite struggled to break free.

And despite the enhanced strength from the armor, it was proving difficult for Marik to restrain the Elite, "Kayla!" he called to the covered marine.

She poked her head out, her eyes wide with surprise as she saw the two dead majors and the pinned Ultra, "Kayla!" Marik called again, the Elite's struggling increased, "Grab the energy sword from the dead Major!" he nodded towards the downed major "Activate it and kill this thing!" he instructed and as if understanding his word, Ultra began to struggle even more.

She took a moment to process his words, than nodded, running towards the dead elite she picked up the hilt and with a few tries the blade sparked to life, she had to hold it with both hands in order to keep the pressure needed to keep it activated, running towards the downed Ultra she yelled and drove into his chest and right into the pavement below. The hissing of the blade as it cut it's shields and armor easily was followed by the gargling of the dying elite, then nothing, just Kayla's panting and the sounds of fighting in the distance.

Marik stood, glanced around then turned back to Kayla. "Where's the rest of your patrol?" he asked, his own breathing quicker.

"Dead…sir." she replied. sparing a glance at the burning hog "I'm the last one of them left…" she sounded like she was fighting back tears, he knew she must have grown attached to them, something common among normal soldiers. But it was also a liability in Marik's eyes.

Marik took a few steps and placed an armoured hand on her shoulder, "You did good," he stated calmly, "The fight continues, come on, you can stay with me till the mission is complete." he said. She must have taken comfort in the words cause she nodded and grabbed a nearby Assault rifle.

The mission was complete in seconds after his and Kayla's arrival, the Covenant didn't know what they had hit them, almost like always.

They were on the pelican again, being lifted to another hot zone…

"Thank you again Marik…" Kayla said, as she sat next to Marik on the pelican, "I would have died if you hadn't come along," she smiled at him, her cheeks turning red again when he turned to her.

"No problem." he said simply, nodding. He turned back to his SMG, unbeknownst that Kayla was discreetly leaning on his shoulder, her eyes closed in sleep, Linda opened a channel to him again.

"She's interested in you." she stated, a small hint of amusement in her tone.

"I'm a SPARTAN," Marik replied simply "half of humanity finds me interesting." he said boredly.

Linda sighed. "I mean she wants to pursue a romantic relationship with you." she clarified, the amusement now clear in her voice.

Marik brows shot up in surprise, hidden behind his visor but the slight rising of his head and shoulders was all Linda needed to see in order to read his emotions, "Understand now?" she asked. a small chuckle escaping his speakers.

Marik nodded, understanding completely now what had to be done. shaking his shoulder he stirred Kayla from her thoughts and rest, staring up at him inquisitively. he said firmly, almost coldly, "SPARTANs cannot love…" he shook his head, "I am sorry." he said, watching her, she simply stared, than his words registered. her eyes seemed downcast and she leaned away, sitting in her own seat and leaving her to her thoughts.

"I'm sorry…" she said, still not looking at him.

Marik turned to the see outside the pelican and even with the emotion in her voice, he felt only a pang of regret, but it was quickly replaced by his duty. "It's fine." he replied.

"Little harsh, don't you think?" Linda's voice echoed in his helmet.

"Perhaps." Marik replied, ending the conversation and leaving him to his own thoughts.

The fates may have thrown them together repeatedly, but duty would forever keep them apart, he was a SPARTAN, and SPARTANs can never love.