DISCLAIMER: Cleo and all her friends from the TV show Cleopatra 2525 do not belong to me. The are the sole property of Studios USA/Renaissance Pictures. I just borrowed them for a while, purely for non-profit, of course. The following story (excluding the stuff I used from the episodes to set up the plot) is property of the author. Do not duplicate, archive or link to without the authors' consent.
WARNING: This story is about two women growing close...all subtext is intentional. And while there is no sex in this story, there will be in future ones. If you don't like the idea...don't read it.
***This stories is based on the occurrences in "Last Stand"***
(But you should be able to follow the story even if you haven't seen the episode)
Feedback is welcomed!
EXPECTATIONS ~ Chapter 1
by: RainaRose (LavenderFirefly)
Sarge sat on the table in the lab watching Hel as she studied a map. Things had been tense between the two women since Jake Lawson. Her stomach turned at the thought of him. "How could I have been so wrong?" she muttered to herself.
"You say something?" asked Hel as she looked up from the map.
"No." Sarge said. "I mean...I...," Sarge just couldn't seem to find the right words.
Hel looked at her, waiting for her to say whatever it was she was going to say. She was disappointed with Sarge. She felt that she had put the team in unnecessary danger. All for a man she didn't even know. OK, so he had shot her once and spared her life. But why she was so insistant that she help him was beyond her. And she certainly didn't understand her obvious attraction for him. She was hoping to get some answers
"I didn't know...I didn't mean...," Sarge stuttered. "Oh, come on Hel..you know I would never do anything to put the team in jeopardy."
"Do I?" Hel replied flatly.
"What the..." Sarge had started to reply but then noticed Hel was no longer focused on her. Her head tilted slightly to one side. It was Voice.
"What is it Voice?" Hel asked.
'One of my teams fell under attack after obtaining important information. Their lab was destroyed and...they were all killed. Their leader managed to hide the disk. Ineed you to go retrieve it. This information is vital. I've sent Mauser the location. I need you to leave immediately.'
Hel turned her attention back towards Sarge and said, "Voice needs me to go on a mission." She then turned and headed towards Mauser.
"Don't you dare walk away from me! How could you even think that I would intentionally hurt the team?" The sharp tone of Sarges' voice stopped Hel in her tracks.
She turned around slowly and said, "How could I think that? Well, let's see...you take off to help a stranger because of some sick connection you think you have with him without even a thought to the risk involved. We could've been killed and..."
"I never asked you to go!" Sarge shouted. "I...
"Oh, and I guess I was just supposed to let you run off and get yourself killed, right? What the hell was..."
"Hey girls, check 'em out!" Cleo said as she strutted into the room, both arms extended outward. "Mauser replaced my sheilds that Jake creep took and I know you think I'm crazy...but don't you think the flowers I painted on are the perfect accent to this whole outfit?"
After not getting a response, Cleo glanced up and saw the two women staring at each other. She immediately felt he tension. "Ooh, I'm interrupting something, aren't I? My bad! What's the matter?"
"I need to get out of here. I need a break," Sarge said as she headed toward the holographic wall which was actually a hidden doorway.
"Wait, I..." Hel started to say but it was to late, Sarge had gone. "Damn, I gotta go after her."
'No Hel,' said Voice. 'I need you to retrieve that information. It is vital. You must leave now.
"Cleo! Go after Sarge. I have to do something for Voice."
"Me? Uhhhhh, what if I get lost? I don't even know...why did she leave. Hel, what's going on between you two? Is this about helping Jake?"
"No time to explain," Hel said. "Use your new gauntlets. And here..." Hel crossed the lab and grabbed a laser from a workstation then went over and clicked it into place on Cleos' gauntlet. "Go NOW or else she'll be too far ahead of you for your heat sensitive view-finder to work."
"Oooooo, OK," she said and then she ran out the wall. "But I don't even know how to work this laser thingy!"
Hel could hear her scream as she plunged into the shaft.
"And turn on your shields!" Hel yelled to her, hoping she would hear.
"Mauser, I need the directions Voice sent," her voice sounded determined but her heart wasn't into this mission. Her eyes drifted from the work station and over towards the doorway.
"She'll be OK," Mauser said as he followed Hel's gaze to the door.
"Yeah," she replied. "But will we be OK?"
Sarge was sure that Hel wouldn't follow. No, she would never let Voice down. And if the information was as important as Voice said it was, Sarge wouldn't want her to. The team, the missions...they were important to her, whether Hel realized that or not.
She wasn't quite sure how she had ended up back at the crypt. She hadn't planned it. She hadn't even been sure where she was headed when she left the lab. All she knew was that she needed to get away from Hel and that disappointed look in her eye. But, here she was, outside the force field, staring at the barrels of poisonous treasure Jake had so desperately wanted. A treasure she had almost helped him get. If Voice hadn't found out about the passage under the floor, Jake would be living like a king. He would've traded the barrels for a level and whatever else... to who knows who ...or what. It had almost been a disaster. But the potential threat was safe now, Jerabo had redone the force field to include the floor. No, this stuff wouldn't be of any use to anyone.
When she had heard his distress call all she could think of was how she couldn't let this great man down. After all...he had spared her life. She had heard so many impressive things about the man. He had qualities that were hard to find in people anymore. She had heard he was honest, dedicated, loyal...she had looked up to him and had wanted to be like him. Now she wondered if anything she had heard had been true or if circumstances and years of fighting had taken its toll. She was hoping for the later. She didn't want to think herself that bad a judge of character. She wondered where it had all changed for him. Where it had stopped being about helping people and started being about helping himself.
No, Jake Lawson wasn't the man she had thought him to be...he had turned out to be quite the disappointment. And she, in turn, had been a disappointment to Hel. Hel had been right. She had led the team into a dangerous situation because of an infatuation she'd had with a product of her own imagination. She hadn't known the man she went to help...all she knew was the man she had built him up to be. And that could've got her friends killed.
"How could I have been so damn stupid?" Sarge yelled as she hit the wall.
"Whoa, easy there killer. What's that poor wall ever done to you?"
Sarge whirled around, gauntlet raised out of instinct. She stared in disbelief, then slowly shook her head and thought 'I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that Cleo actually got the drop on me.' Now Sarge was even more disgusted with herself.
"Hey, hey, hey...it's me Cleopatra," Cleo exclaimed with wide eyes. "Jeez, don't go all postal on me."
Sarges eyebrow shot up. "Postal?...Oh never mind...What are you doing here Cleo? And what the hell is that?" Sarge asked as her gaze fell upon the laser now attached to Cleo's flower clad gauntlet.
"What...oh this?" Cleo asked as she pointed to the weapon. "Hel gave me a laser thingy in case I ran into trouble before I got to you. Not that I know how to work it. I think it was mainly for shock value...you know, little girl, big gun." Cleo grinned and began to poke around her gauntlet with a tentative finger.
"Hey, stop that...come here!"
Cleo looked up with a puzzled expression and went over to Sarge.
"Give me that before you shoot your foot off," Sarge said as she removed the laser from the young girls gauntlet. "Or my foot," she added with a slight smirk. "Now, tell me...what are you doing here?"
"Hel told me to follow you. She was worried. She wanted to come after you herself but Voice..." Cleo was cut off when Sarge said, "Hel wouldn't have come after me."
"Sarge, what's going on? What were you and Hel arguing about? Why did you take off?"
Sarge sighed and leaned up against the wall, then slowly slid down until she was sitting in the floor. Cleo plopped down cross-legged in front of her.
"Hel thinks I put the team in danger by rushing off to help Jake."
"You didn't ask us to go."
"I know, that's what I told Hel, but..."
"But I knew you wouldn't let me go alone. That's even worse than if I had asked you to go. You put your lives in danger and all because of my bad judgement," Sarge said as she hung her head, not wanting to look Cleo in the eye. "He wasn't the man I expected him to be."
"Sarge, you couldn't have known," Cleo said as she reached out her hand to grasp Sarges. "All those stories you heard about him being a great protector, the fact that he didn't kill you when he could have...going into this you expected to be helping someone you looked up to, your role model. It's not your fault. And, if we hadn't responded to Jake's distress call, he would've had all that plutonium...and who knows whose hands it may have fallen into."
Sarge was silent.
"And I'm sure Hel realizes that too. We stopped Jake from trading a dangerous weapon. Who knows all the lives you may have saved. That's worth something, ya know."
"It's hard when people we look up to, people we shape our lives after, turn out to be nothing like we expected," Cleo stated sympathetically.
Sarge glanced up. "Yeah, it is."
She then realized Cleo was still holding her hand and she gave it a slight squeeze as she said, "Thanks Cleo."
"For trying to make me feel better," Sarge said. "And for coming after me."
"Hey, what are friends for? Remember...all for one, one for all!" Cleo said cheerfully, trying to lighten the mood. She then stood up and brushed the dirt off her behind with her free hand while gently tugging on Sarges arm with the other. "Come on...let's head back to the lab. Maybe Hel needs our help."
Sarge allowed herself to be pulled up and found herself standing barely an inch away from Cleopatra. She looked down into those big eyes and said in a voice barely above a whisper, "Yeah, let's go home." They stood that way for a few seconds longer than necessary. Sarge reached up and ran her hand down the length of Cleo's arm, stopped at her hand and gave it another squeeze. She backed up a few steps and looked at Cleo with a with one eyebrow raised and a slight smirk on her face, then turned and headed out the way they had came.
Cleo stood riveted to the spot where she was and absentmindedly ran her hand over the same arm Sarge had touched. 'What was that all about?' she thought. 'If I didn't know any better I'd have swore that...' "Nah, no way!" Cleo said aloud and chuckled to herself. "Hey Sarge, wait up!" she shouted and ran to catch up to her friend.