Note to Disclaimers: I do not and never will Borderlands, and this is NOT for profit. All this belongs to the rightful owners: 2K games, Gearbox, whatever else…can't remember all their names but you get the drift. I own NOTHING.

A/N: Just a drabble, at the moment. I kind of want to expand it but I need to update my other fics first. But for now, this will be a drabble! A special thanks to all my awesome reviewers; I appreciate ALL of you and your words so, so much.

This fic is dedicated to my lil sis. It is also inspired, and dedicated to AndBeAVillain and Kaiser Xander, who wanted this! You guys rock!

Embracing the Alternative

Skin of the palest peach color was visible in the dim lighting surrounding them. The plains of her flesh, the smooth suppleness that made her was pliable under his fingertips. She was sleeping soundly as she always did on the cool nights of Pandora, her naked body covered by a thin sheet and her back pressed flush against his chest with her blue hair splayed across the pillow. Downstairs a faint beeping could be heard along with light snores and even some light chuckles. He had to wonder what anyone was doing up at this hour but given what had transpired a few weeks ago, he wasn't that surprised to find people celebrating at every opportunity that presented itself. He was sure he heard Salvador and Axton moving around, no doubt playing cards or some other drinking game with Brick. Why they hadn't ventured to Moxxi's was still a mystery but he didn't give it much more thought before returning his gaze to the woman resting next to him. His fingers flexed over the exposed skin of her hip, the blue tattoo teasing him as it glowed in the rising sun. Leaning on his elbow, he shifted to the left while gazing at her, which caused a low whimper to leave her lips as she sought him out with her long, slender arms. When her deft hands made contact with his armor she frowned but snuggled closer. Why she liked to sleep naked was beyond him but he wasn't about to complain, merely happy to be next to her and obtain the privilege of watching her beauty while she rested.

It was something Axton and Salvador did not get to do. He had the sneaking suspicion that only one other male understood this and it was not the one no longer with them.

He had not seen the red-headed Siren in quite some time since the events unfolded and everything came to a dramatic close. What he did know, though, was that the Hunter had also disappeared. He wasn't sure what lingered between them but he couldn't dwell on in when his attention was brought back to the sleepy woman in his arms.

"What time is it?"

"The morning sunlight, sleep has not quite left you, it will rise very soon."

She sighed but wiggled closer to his chest, the material making her wrinkle her nose for a second. "No haiku today, please?" When he didn't respond she could only laugh against him. "Annoyed?"

He shook his head. "Not with you, no."

She glanced around the quiet upstairs, noticing right away that the remaining beds were empty including his. She chuckled. "Is that them still playing cards downstairs?" He nodded. At this Maya promptly rolled her eyes. "Seriously? It's fuckin 4 AM. Zero…how long have you been staring at me sleep?"

"I do not stare Maya, I watch," he replied evenly, leaning over to place a chaste kiss on her forehead. His helmet lay to the side on the concrete floor along with all of her clothes, haphazard and askew.

She smirked. Despite the fact that Zero was clearly not human Maya found him attractive, more than Axton, Mordecai, Salvador or anyone else on Pandora. Considering she'd been raised by a Monk Order she figured that her perception of attraction didn't stem from a simple physical appearance. And while it was odd that he didn't have five fingers like her and his eyes were a slanted ink black, she still wanted him. His skin, a light blue hue, was not soft nor was it rough; it was an interesting texture she couldn't compare to anything else. She just liked it. He had a nose, he had lips, he had some form of senses that were abnormal and heightened; his skin even glowed. His vocal chords, which she previously thought only translated through a contraption on his helmet, were surprisingly smooth and deep, less robotic. Sighing, she reached up to run her finger down the expanse of his cheek, ignoring the fact that he still slept with his armor on when they were in the same bed. She was simply happy to have his helmet gone so she could see his face.

At first it was awkward for them when she realized there was an attraction there, mostly because she knew he wasn't human—and she had no clue what he looked like under the mask. To top it off she wasn't even sure if he acknowledged her in any way, not even as a partner. As it was they had already spent many times journeying through the dredge of Pandora to complete tasks for the previous Vault Hunters. He had been there when looking for the Firehawk, when destroying the Bloodshots in their ramparts, when ending the Cult for Lilith and keeping her whereabouts secret. They had been together when she'd practically tripped over herself to talk to Lilith about being a Siren. She herself was a unique being despite being a human. He was an interplanetary assassin, one not completely human though she couldn't place what he was exactly. He looked eridian, or like a guardian with his blue and purple hued skin, the slanted eyes that were all black; no pupils. Or at least none that she could distinguish. But his body appeared similar to humans, even closer to Mordecai's stick thin build. It made her curious as to what may have happened to him. Sometimes she felt like asking him but he would look away and she'd bite her tongue.

But not tonight.



She bit her lip, nervous. "What…what happened to you? Where you're from?"

He sighed but turned his dark eyes to meet her alabaster pair. "A secret so dark, you should not have to hear it, I cannot tell you."

Eyes narrowing, she poked his chest through the gray armor, her eyes tearing a bit. "I told you, no more haikus! Yes, Zero, I'll bet it's a dark secret. I get it. It's not like becoming a Siren was an easy thing to do. The experimentation is killer, literally."

His lips frowned back. Maya started to turn away when his gloved hand caught her arms, pulling her close. "Maya…it is nothing you need to know."

"Of course it isn't," she snapped, yanking her arm away though she remained close to him, shutting her eyes.

"Hey! You guys are being too loud!"

"Oye amigos, we're trying to play a game of cards down here!"

Maya gritted her teeth, wanting nothing more than to phaselock Axton's mouth shut and crush Salvador to pieces. As it was, no one else knew that they were lying together. They were always assumed to be partners out on the battlefield but nothing more. It was why, many times, they remained silent. She wasn't sure how Axton and Salvador would take her attraction to an alien humanoid. Letting out a weary sigh the Siren settled back into the thin sheet, her skin somewhat chafed from Zero's suit; she did not complain though. Her eyes observed the now bare walls of the Crimson Lance headquarters, wondering, suddenly, what Lilith might be doing. At 4 AM, she was sure the other Siren was out destroying things with Mordecai to deal with the loss of Roland. The assassin was still as death behind her, his arm still holding her close where it was draped over her hip. His elbow had relaxed and he now was resting against her, his head nuzzled in the nape of her neck. She could feel his lips there on her skin, the soft but cold of them making her shiver a bit. It was odd even now that she could not feel him breathe, and truth be told she still wasn't sure if he had the ability to do so. She still wasn't sure if his helmet acted as some sort of respirator but seeing as to how he wasn't wearing it now, it couldn't be. Otherwise he'd be dead. Deciding it was not worth fighting over tonight, the Siren settled her back against him again with the hopes that, someday, he'd tell her what had happened to him.

A few hours passed and Maya finally awakened to an empty bed and blazing heat from the Pandora sun. The dust ball of a planet never ceased to amaze her with its seemingly unchanging weather patterns from location to location. With a yawn and a stretch of her stiff limbs the Siren finally stood, pulling the thin white cotton sheet with her as she made her way towards the balcony where Zero stood, resolute and quiet. She figured it had to be around noon at this point if the snores coming from downstairs were any indication from their base mates. It would seem as though Axton, Salvador and the rest finally fell asleep; she was sure Tannis had locked herself away somewhere. With her hands wrapped around the somewhat sheer material she came to stand next to the Assassin, intrigued by what he might be thinking or if he was staring off into the sky, which was unusual. Zero did things with purpose, with intent. Rarely did the humanoid ever do things on a whim. He was a killer, deadly and deceptive. She was a Siren, a unique and rare artifact of a bygone race and coveted by humans alike. Raising her eyes to him, she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"What are you thinking about?"

He brought his gaze to her and she could only imagine what his facial expression looked like since he had replaced his helmet. Ellipses appeared on the visor and he brought his hand up to cup her cheek. Maya leaned into the leather of his glove, her face growing warm with comfort at the gesture. She reached for his fingers, intertwining them while keeping his hand on her face.


"A dangerous choice, I have lost control of this, have you chose wisely?"

Maya blanched for a moment but her cheeks burned fire. She was determined to make him see that she did not regret her choice and she would not take it back. Looking up at him her hands grabbed hold of his helmet and brought it down low enough so that she could plant a firm kiss on the jet black visor. She didn't care what he said. She'd made her choice; no regrets. A tear slipped down her cheek, her lips still planted firmly on the slick surface of his mask. His hands hand instantly comes to grips her wrists, at which point Maya made it clear that he would have to use force to remove her if he found her sentiments that disgusting. Instead another tear slid down her opposite cheek when his hands moved to her back and pulled her so close she couldn't help but almost trip and fall flush into his embrace.

"Tears are not needed, a mistaken question, I am most content."

She glanced up at him for a moment, her eyes shining, and a smile graced her blue lips. "I am, too." It was quiet for a few more moments when Maya suddenly turned away, her hand snagging his and tugging him back in the direction of the bed. "Come on, let's get some more sleep."

He nodded, following her lead easily, pliant when she pulled him back down on the mattress with her. Immediately she rolled onto her side, her back once again connecting with his chest plate, his left arm circling her while his right arm lay across the pillow. Her blue hair created a halo that Zero quickly laid upon, his helmet still on but neither complained. It seemed she was still incredibly sleepy for seconds later her breathing began to even out. As he lay there, watching her again, she smiled.

"No more Haiku?" She felt him nod but the smile widened as if she knew he wasn't being completely honest. "I doubt it." Squirming, she turned to face him, her hands on his chest while her head inclined to look into the darkness of his visor. She could picture his face now. "Zero?" He nodded his acknowledgment. She blushed before planting a quick kiss on his visor, again. "Stay."

Without another word she cuddled closer, falling asleep instantly.

With a sigh, Zero settled back down with her, his voice barely above a whisper. "A Siren of truth, I have come to submit me, a feeling to keep."

In her sleep, Maya clung tighter, smiling again. Zero may not make straightforward confession of love but for now, she was content.

(So...I actually was happy how this turned out for a drabble/possible prelude to more. I so in love with this pairing that until any info comes out on what Zero is, I keep picturing an upgraded Eridian Humanoid similar to Thane Krios from Mass Effect, lol. Thanks to Kaiser Xander who helped out with this idea. I hope to post more for this pairing but at the moment I have a lot of other fics to update. I will do my very best though. Gotta go work on part 4 for Mordy/Lil, Squee! Love you all. Thanks for reading!)