Lines are Drawn

by Mistress Sarah

Disclaimer: These are not my characters. They are owned, copyrighted and created by far wiser people than me. I have attempted to bring them back to life for a short time, attempting to ease that gaping hole in my heart where B5/Crusade once was.
Note: Series is NC-17. m/f, m/m.
Archiving: SW and the WWOMB archive

Dureena Nafeel I

Each day, when I had lunch in the cafeteria, he was there, watching me, hungrily. Our eyes met occasionally, and he didn't even look embarrassed when he knew that I had noticed his attention.

I'm not unfamiliar with such looks of consideration; after all, the Terrans on the ship seem to have decided that I am an exotic object in the realm of sexual conquest. Eilerson's tried repeatedly, and even John Matheson made a half-hearted effort, as though he had regretfully known that I would turn him down from the very beginning. I had turned Max down rudely with a flourish of my knives, but Matheson, I had carefully declined.

A softly worded rejection, with a smile, but still a refusal, nevertheless. I liked John, with his intensity and dedication, but I knew that his superiors would frown on his relationship with me. He had enough of a burden to carry, and I did not want our friendship to die beneath the added weight of his superior's condemnation. I'm sure Gideon would have approved whole-heartedly, but Jones would not.

How I wished John Matheson was free from his quarters, and I would take him up on his offer to see the Stellar Cartography room, and admire the stars that I couldn't see from our ship. Perhaps I would accept his shy and hesitant kiss, and I would let things… progress. Would he be as intense and dedicated a lover as he was an Executive Officer, or would he strive to appear cool and collected, but inwardly be terrified of failure?

Blinking quickly, I almost failed to see that 'Matthew' was walking over in my direction.

"Penny for your thoughts," he said softly.

"My thoughts aren't worth more than that, a penny? Hah! It's an antiquated form of currency." My voice was challenging, and my effrontery amused him. "I'd expect…"

"A diamond, at least?" With fake seriousness, he tried to look as though he was lost in contemplation. "No diamonds, Dureena. No emeralds, no sapphires, no gold."

"Then I won't share my thoughts with you." I stood up to move away from him, and I was surprised when he grabbed my arm. "Matthew. Normally, I'd slice someone's hand off if they ever even thought of grabbing my arm like that, but for you I'll make an exception… I'm telling you nicely to let go, Matthew."

"Dureena, Dureena. You seem so angry with me lately. You don't talk with me anymore. Ever since John…got sick."

His hazel eyes looked at me, and I suddenly realized that he wasn't sure of me, and that if I weren't careful, I'd be the next one quarantined.

"Matthew. You've been so busy lately, especially since John and the rest got ill," I gave him a small smile, which seemed to calm him. I put my hand on top of his, and gently removed it from my arm. "I've missed how we used to talk."

"Talk?" He gave me a slight smile.

"Yes, but it seems your new… friends, don't like just talking."

"Are you in the mood?" The devil wearing Matthew's face gave me a look full of promise.

"For talking… anytime." I stressed the verb, and 'Matthew' laughed.

"Wonderful. My quarters?" He flashed me a killer smile.

"No. Mine. After your shift today. We'll… talk." Promising that seemed to ease the troubled look in his eyes, and I suddenly wondered if I had gone crazy. Letting him into your quarters? He ain't looking to talk! But if I could keep him distracted and away from John Matheson, maybe the reinforcements would show up.

John Matheson I.

I could barely get out of bed anymore, because of the drugs they were using. Resting, I'd try to concentrate on whatever news my 'friends' would slip. They were usually taciturn, except one of them blundered. Max and Sarah were both quarantined but nothing was mentioned about Dureena.

Dureena had pulled away from us, right after we had held our clandestine meeting, and at first, I had been saddened. Didn't she see? Didn't she believe? But then, after my capture, I realized that she had been the smartest of the four of us. Keeping away from us, she had managed to fool 'Matthew' into believing that she was 'safe'.

If and when Galen showed up, the two of them would handle things.


Gideon was still fighting, and so I inserted another small silver pin into his spinal cord. Slowly, I twisted it while he screamed from the pain, and Ryan grabbed his face.

"Listen to me. You lie to me, Randy will kill you." My Master's voice was like ice, and for a moment, he sounded as though he was willing to murder Gideon himself, instead of letting me do it.

Matthew slumped in the chair, and I was glad that I had firmly secured him to it. His arms were secured behind the back of the chair, and I noticed something odd about him. Actually, I noticed something about his back.

"Master?" I needed confirmation on what I was seeing, or more importantly, what I wasn't seeing.

"Yes?" Ed questioned.

"No scars. None."

I still had my scars from the few times I had disobeyed, and after all these years, they had faded, barely able to be seen, but they were there. Gideon's were not. Ed hadn't whipped him as hard as he had me, claiming that his shoulder had begun to spasm right after I had blacked out during my punishment, but I knew it was a fib. A small lie, but still a lie. My Master had whipped me harder because I had disappointed him greatly, as he had expected more from me than a mere raw recruit.

"Plastics?" He asked quickly.

"No. I'd still see some damage. Let me check on this."

I grabbed one of my rarely used medical scanners and I began examining his back. Ryan began explaining the significance of the lack of scarring on Matthew Gideon to Sinclair.

I ran test after test, hoping something would explain why they weren't there. At last, I shook my head and I began shaking my head to my Master's questions.


No. The semi-conscious man in front of me did not have a Keeper.


No. There would have been scar residues that my scanner would have found.


No. Whoever this person was, he was a perfect DNA match for the Matthew Gideon who had once served on board the Alexander. Cloning had not been perfected yet, and there would have been damage to the DNA structures.

"Changeling net?"


"Shape shifter?"

Sinclair began to laugh softly at my Master's increasingly far-fetched questions while I continued to shake my head. Ryan glared at the Military Governor of Babylon 5, and motioned at him to come up with a bright idea or two of his own, to explain what was going on.

"Put him to the Question, Assassin." Sinclair ordered me, and then slowly added, "Go as far as you must. Find out why he is missing those scars."

"Understood." I stood up, and slowly stretched, trying to calm myself completely to find my center. Jeff was giving me de facto permission to kill Gideon if necessary, and I intended on getting as much information out of this Gideon without causing his death. It was a matter of professional pride, combined with a desire to savor the sweetness of Gideon's building terror. Then if my Master ordered it, then I would kill Gideon only after wringing each drop of pain and terror from his soul.

I spoke softly to Gideon, using the softest voice I could. It often worked with those who were frightened and scared, as it fooled them into thinking that I was… compassionate. Any humanity the younger Randolph Morrison may have at one time possessed, had long since been replaced by the sexual ecstasy of the kill. My years of brutal conditioning by the Guides and the Guild had been… rigorous, but I had needed to be taught control and self-restraint. Killing the Minbari had made my blood burn, and I thought hungrily of the Excalibur's Avatar, but I forced myself to concentrate on business first. There would be time to taste and relish his delicate flesh later. "Thirsty?"

"Can't…move…" His voice was slow, and his eyes looked glassy.

"Have some of this. It'll help. Trust me." I wasn't lying to him, for what I was giving him would cause his torture to end quicker than it would without it. But only if he convinced my Master that he spoke the truth would the persecution stop. Then my Master would decide if he would be allowed to live.

Gideon slipped my oily potion hesitantly and he nearly spat it out.

"Nasty." His voice was slurred, and his breathing was labored.

"Drink it, Matt. It's an order," growled Ryan.

"Yes. General, Sir. 'Fraid, can't salute right… now." The stranger's voice was slurred, and he slowly drank my concoction, grimacing at the taste.

Matthew Gideon I.

Something was wrong. I couldn't seem to move my legs or my arms, and my mind was foggy. Oh God damn it, they had noticed that I wasn't acting right, and they were trying to figure out what to do with me.

Ryan was snapping questions at me, and I began to realize that there was no way I could answer them correctly. Who were my friends on the Alexander? On which planet did such and such happen? Who was this? What was that?

Finally, I refused to answer, and that's when the bastard Randy began to prompt me. He yanked my hair, forcing me to look into Ed's angry eyes. Ryan was screaming at me, demanding to know who I was and Randy began slowly twisting something in my neck. Whatever Randy was doing to me was causing an almost overwhelming sense of agony in every nerve of my body.

I couldn't fight, I couldn't move, so I lied.


For each lie I told, Ryan or Sinclair hit me.


I began trying to anticipate how bad the next jolt of pain would be and that made it worse, for Randy appeared psychic in inflicting even more pain that I expected by gently twisting the thing in my neck.

I'm not a Superman, and so finally, I stopped lying. Closing my eyes, I just shook my head when they tried to ask me further questions. Ryan ran his left hand through his hair, and snorted in disgust.

"Ok--you've been obscenely brave up to now, so tell the truth. Who are you?"

Ed Ryan hit me again and the only consolation I had, was it was apparent that his shoulder was hurting him about as badly as my body was hurting me.

"Matthew Gideon." Well, THAT wasn't a lie.

"And I'm the religious leader of the Minbari." Jeff Sinclair quipped.

"Randy. He's being rather noble, isn't he?" Ed asked.

"Yes." The Assassin's soft drawl was warm in my ear. "He'll probably die before he tells us anything, but… you know… I think… we might get more reaction if we put someone else to the Question and make him watch. He's got his little favorites in his crew, you know."

Randy's laugh frightened me, and I realized that he knew me too goddamn well.

"Really? Who do you recommend?" Sinclair inquired.

"Hmmm… Let me have his Avatar. He's rather protective of him, I've noticed." He pulled my hair hard, forcing me to look into his dead eyes. "I've seen the look in your eyes when I play with him. You're concerned, almost apprehensive, when your Avatar's near me. I watched you during dinner, you see. I saw what you were trying to hide. Why is your Avatar such a weak spot to you? Not even your Assassin-lover has the hold on your soul that your mind freak does."

Fuck. They were going to hurt John. I was getting confused between the two men who wore the same face, and I couldn't let them hurt him. My Executive Officer. My Avatar. They were blurring into one and the same man, and I couldn't… wouldn't let these bastards hurt him.

"Fucking… damn you." I spat that out with the last of my energy, and I earned a savage kick to my back from Randy who seemed to move faster than I thought humanely possible. Whimpering in pain, I suddenly wished that I could black out.

"Tsk.. tsk… your language. Didn't your momma ever tell you not to curse at your Senior Officers?" The blonde assassin's voice whispered in my ear.

"Randy. Enough. I don't like what I'm going to have to do, you know." Ed's voice was soft and confiding, and I could sense that he was telling me the truth. "But you're not the Matthew Gideon I know. Tell me the truth, or we'll get your Avatar, and what we do to him won't be pretty."

Jeff suddenly spoke up, "For the last time, who… are… you? What do you want? Who do you serve?"

Hesitantly, I began to tell the truth, knowing full well that they wouldn't believe me.

"I'm… not… your… Matthew. But… I am… Matthew…"

Dureena Nafeel I.

He had brought liquor to my quarters, and I gave him a cool look. Inwardly, I was nervous, but I tried to calm myself.

"Wine, Matthew?" I tried to put laughter into my voice, and I saw that Gideon relaxed.

"Yes. I thought you might like some. My mother always taught me that I should bring a gift when I visit someone." He sounded amused, and quite self-assured.

"I didn't realize you had a mother." I spoke that too quickly in my nervousness, as his eyes suddenly darkened. 'Matthew' was suddenly wary of a misstep, and I cursed myself for having said something that made him doubt his charade.

Sauntering over to him, I took the wine from his hands, making sure that my hands caressed his for just a moment too long. "Everybody knows that Starship Captains don't have mothers, because they're all… Mothers." Deliberately I misquoted an old saying that I had heard from a Marine Sergeant and Matthew seemed to relax.

"No, Captains don't have mothers, we're just… hatched." He quirked a smirk at me, and his hazel eyes gave me a rather appraising look.

I shook my head in disapproval. "No, I'm not going to be another notch on your bedpost, Matthew, unlike the others you've had over the years. You've been after me for all this time, but I'm not meant to be a Captain's woman."

"No, Dureena. You'd never be just another notch on my bedpost." His low voice quickly assured me. "You'd be the secret reason why the cranky Captain was smiling during his shift."

And so my 'date' with Gideon began.


I had been away from the Excalibur for far too long, and a feeling of unease had been growing in me. When Gideon's ship had been caught in the spatial anomaly, I had been watching, almost on the verge of rescuing him myself, again, when the Excalibur crew had managed to save him.

Perhaps it was an almost paternal pride that I had felt, that had caused me to delight in the fact that the Excalibur crew hadn't needed my help. Or maybe a sense of relief that I didn't have to interrupt my current project to rescue an unappreciative Matthew again. He never appreciated it when I rescued him, as his ego refused to let him admit when he needed help. Instead of gratitude, he'd make flippant comments about me showing up when most needed and least wanted.

Now, if I had been in his position, I would be grateful that St. Galen had decided to keep a watchful eye on the flock. I had laughed when he had gotten out of the mess he had been in, and I had quickly returned to my experiments. When they were done, I had turned back to look at the Excalibur and I realized that something had gone terribly wrong.

John Matheson, Sarah Chambers, and Maximilian Eilerson on all quarantined and under guard. What was Matthew thinking? I watched him carefully, disbelieving his current behavior. What would cause Matthew to act this strangely?

Hmm… let's go look at that Spatial Anomaly again, Galen.

Matthew Gideon I.

I was too tired to speak more, and I wondered at their silence. I had told the disbelieving men everything, the fact I didn't belong in their universe, and even what their alternative careers had been in 'my' universe. They asked question after question, and I answered as best as I could.

They didn't believe me, that was apparent from their witty comments. "The Goddamn Minbari ambassador? Jeff! I never knew!" "Leading a rebellion Eddie? That'll get you in trouble..." "Shadows... what type of name is the Shadows. Is their head honcho the boogeyman?" "At least you guys have careers. I'm probably in prison in his universe or else I've been mind-wiped and I'm serving as a Acolyte in the Church of Elvis." "Telepaths? In the Military? Are they fucking NUTS?"

Please. Don't hurt John. No... JT. John's safe in our universe,'s ... JT that I need to protect. Don't get confused, Matt. If you mess up the truth, they'll kill John.

"Randy. Take the pins out of his neck. It is time for Plan B. You will handle the situation as we discussed. Then to Dr. Franklin, who will handle that part. Understood?"

I didn't know what the hell Plan B was, but it appeared not to involve more torture.


Randy took the pins out of my neck, and I suddenly felt as if my body was full of pins and needles, as the feeling returned to my body. Within minutes, I was being dragged down the hallway, and I suddenly wondered what the hell was going to happen now.

Plan B appeared to involve Randy and I being shepherded to the DarkStar by "Jeff" and "Ed". I don't know what the hell was going on as suddenly two men showed up, and then they switched places with Ed and Jeff. Changeling Nets. They were wearing... changeling nets? And they were impersonating Jeff and Ed? Why?

The two imposters sat freely, quietly discussing something or other. One drank soda, while Jeff did a few shots. My silence was excused as me being a little too drunk for my own good, and we sat in the DarkStar for hours, until the bar fight took place. Jeff, Ed and Randy began fighting with an unfeigned enjoyment.

I think the fight was rigged, because half-way through it, the three men turned on me and hit me hard. Then the floor reached up and tripped me, causing me to land hard on my side. Pain. Everything hurt, and Randy kicked me a few times for good measure. Ed stepped on one of my hands, and Jeff accidentally dropped a few of his victims on top of me.


That was Jeff's comment after one of his victims landing on my head. What type of General said... OOPS? As in ... OOPS. I just bombed the wrong planet.

"Jeff? You've got such lousy aim. You hit my old buddy, Matt."

"I think we better take him back to his quarters, Ed."

I blacked out when the three men picked me off the floor and began dragging me to my quarters.

{1 And so it Begins} {2 Captain-Master & Executive Officer} {3 Captain-Master & Assassin} {4 Battle Fatigue} {5 Story of an Avatar} {6 Story of a Captain-Master} {7 Interlude} {8 General-Master & Assassin} {9 Babylon 5} {10 Lines are Drawn} {11 Alliances are Made} {12 Seeds of Rebellion} {13 The Storm Breaks} {14 Battle of the Light Brigade} {15 "Theirs but to Do and Die"} {16 "Valley of Death"} {17 "Jaws of Death"} {18 Finale}

{The Main Gate} {HomePage} {Wytches World} {We are Family} {A Little Artistic Licence} {No, we don't mean "A"riadne} {Our Home Is Our Castle} {The Witches' Diary} {Witches Familiars} {The Gateway} {Webrings}