Their but to Do and Die

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

Matthew Gideon I.

Back on the good Shadow Ship Excalibur, I again wondered how I had gotten myself into this fine mess. The Ship was buzzing with activity, and I had just finished a session where I had debriefed my senior officers on what was going on. It was still odd to me, to hold a discussion with familiar faces and realize that the man I depended on most, was considered to be a sub-human.

Dureena-Assassin was acting very odd, and subdued. She sat in the corner of the room, and tried to be part of the woodwork. That was odd, and something that I'd need to investigate later.

"Any news from the Centauri, yet?"

That had been Max's only question, and I shook my head. Watching my Executive Officer, I wondered if he truly believed that I didn't know that he was going to try and kill me.

"Not yet."

"Not good," Sarah Chambers admitted.

That ended my conference, and I returned to my quarters, wondering how the dog was.


I had hid her in my jumpsuit pocket, as she was still barely larger than my fist. Ship had cooperated with my arrival scan by not allowing my stowaway to be noticed on the Security screens.

Don't make any noise, little one. We can't let anyone know you're here.


Only Master, Ship and I can know that you're here, else the others will take you from me.


They might hurt you. I won't let anyone hurt you! Thank you, Ship, for helping me. Isn't she beautiful? I told you she had the smallest, blackest eyes, didn't I?

Yes. You did, several thousand times. Let's not talk about the nose. Ship sounded acerbic, perhaps even a little jealous over my new friend, so I quickly stopped talking to...MY... puppy, and began trying to console Ship.

Don't be jealous. Please. You're still my best friend!

The puppy got upset because she thought that she should be my bestest friend as she was my newest friend. Ship grew annoyed over the upstart addition that wanted to take over her place in my universe, and soon I was overwhelmed. The puppy wanted to play ball, to be scratched and to be close to me, while Ship wanted to merge with me so we would could talk and sing songs together.

t was so difficult, having more than one friend! Both Ship and the puppy kept saying "Look at Me! Me! ME! Play with me!" when I tried being fair and playing with both of them equally. Each wanted so much from me, and I just didn't know what to do. Finally, I just curled up on my rug, and started to sniffle.

I was just miserable, and exhausted. Each friend was jealous of the other one, and I didn't have enough experience to handle it.

How did Normals manage having friends?

Matthew Gideon I

JT was curled up in a ball of misery, sobbing uncontrollably and the puppy was trying to lick his face, while some... thing... appendage was stroking his hair. Whatever it was, it was part of the ship, and it gave me the creeps, especially when I realized that it was ... crooning, like a mother to her child.

"Is there a problem, JT?" I asked softly.

He nodded, while the appendage kept stroking his hair. The puppy began licking his face even harder.

"And it's?"

"They're... upset." JT stopped sniffling, for which I was grateful, and then he continued softly. "I never thought having two... friends would be so... difficult."

I tried not to smile, when I realized that both the female Puppy with the Multi-colored bow in her hair, and the female Shadow Ship were jealous of each other. My little JT was having women problems!

My smile quickly faded when I realized that insight explained why JT's manner was sometimes such a startling mixture of sophomoric and sophistication. Ship's personality was that of a very intelligent child, and she was the entity that JT spent most of his time with. The remainder of the time was spent being physically and emotionally abused by my alter, which had given him an adult education in the realms of pain and abuse.

"Come on guys, everybody settle down. You don't have two friends, JT."

JT looked saddened, and he whispered, "I might not think they're 'friends', but for a Freak... like me, they are."

Shit. He misunderstood me, no doubt due to the years of mental abuse he had suffered.

"You've got three. I'm your friend, too."

"Really?" JT looked at me as though he believed that I was teasing him, getting his hopes up only to squash them flat. There was a guarded look in his eyes, and I realized that I had never heard JT laugh. I guess he didn't know how.

"Really." I picked up the dog, which gave me a warning growl. "Look here, you and the Ship are going to have to get along. Ship, you've got to understand that you're older than the puppy, who is just a baby."

God, we had to name the damn dog and quickly! I wasn't going to call it Puppy for the next twenty years!

"And as a baby, she needs a little more attention that you do. You don't want her to get hurt, now do you?"

Now I was talking to the Ship like she was going to answer me. I was losing my mind and quickly!

"So you need to help keep an eye on her, and protect her from the crew. Hey! I have a great idea!" I tried to make my voice sound really enthused, which caused the Ship's appendage to look at me in concern.

Did it see? Or did it sense vibrations? Was it...

Stop it, MATT!

JT looked at me, and I could tell that he was worried that I might suggest that giving the dog back to Randy would be the really great idea. God knows that I was tempted! Or perhaps spacing the dog was to be my suggestion. "You two ladies need to get acquainted. Why don't you play together?"

Puppy and Ship's tentacle looked at each other warily. Then the limb tweaked the puppy's bow and the fight was on. The terrier tried gamely to attack back, growling and nipping at the ship tentacles that tried to touch it. Soon the two of them were rough housing, and making a hell of a lot of noise.

JT didn't look happy, and I suddenly realized that even though JT now had three, count 'em, THREE friends in the entire universe, he was now jealous.

"Come on, let them play. Now, get off the floor, and go to bed, JT."

He looked at me and gave me a hesitant smile.

Shit. He wanted me to fly him!

I was saved by the announcement that Dureena-Assassin was at the door. JT suddenly looked worried, and he began whispering to Ship to hide the dog. Ship caused the puppy to disappear in mid-bark and I suddenly wondered how useful that might be. Getting rid of bodies wouldn't be a problem...


He was not happy with me, and before he closed the door to his bedroom, I saw that the Freak was lying in his bed. Not me, the Mind Freak! Damn him, I'd kill the Freak without a qualm if it weren't for the damned Ship. Master was lately spending his down time with his... Freak, and I could tell that the Freak was absolutely ecstatic to have so much of our Master's free time. He hadn't touched me since the battle where the gloriously clever Mind Raper had saved our lives. No, since then, Master spent all his time with Freak.

I know that little Mind Boy isn't as skilled as lover as I am. You've told me that, repeatedly. You had delighted in telling me how inept a lover he was and how I was your favorite lover. So you prefer a Mind Raper over me, well good for you, Master!

Who was I fooling? I wanted him, and needed him, desperately.

I kneeled before him, and I warned myself to be brave.

"Master. I have come to be whipped."

Proud that my voice hadn't shaken, I was prouder still that I was able to present him with the barbed punishment whip that each Assassin's Master had.

"I have failed you, and request that you whip me."


His voice was quiet, and I found myself beginning to shake. Whenever my Master spoke that quietly, I knew that he was on the verge of a dangerous rage. Never before had it been necessary for me to be punished, and now, I found myself... afraid.

"Guild-Master Morrison overwhelmed me, preventing me from warning you that he was acting oddly. Master, I am not of his quality, but that is no excuse. I failed you, and I know you were injured due to my failure. Therefore, I must be punished. I accept it, knowing that I am flawed, and understanding that I can't ever earn your forgiveness or trust again. Whip me, Master."

Taking my shirt off, I prepared myself for the first blow.

"Dureena-Assassin. I will not whip you, but understand... if you fail me again, I will kill you."

My Master's voice was extremely soft, and I carefully kissed his hands, in gratitude.

"I promise. I will die before I fail you again. I swear by the Blade and the Code, Master. Let my soul..."

"That sounds very, very nice, Assassin, but poetic words will mean nothing if I am killed. You wish to... earn my favor again?"

Nodding quickly, I tried not to feel too hopeful. Often times my Master would try to fool someone into a false sense of optimism, and then he would put the knife into their heart. Then he would twist it, while his soft voice taunted them.

"You have to be very, very careful, Dureena-Assassin. I do not know if you are capable of doing it, as you failed so miserably with Morrison."

"Please, Master. I beg you for the chance to redeem myself." My voice began to shake, and I realized that I was putty in his hands. I would do whatever he wanted, just for the chance to redeem myself.

"Dear little Maximilian wants to get the Captain's chair. He feels that he can earn it, by killing me. You will watch him, and prevent it from happening."

I was too eager to earn his favor, and so I quickly agreed. "I will kill him. Now! For you! I will bring his beating heart back to you."

Matthew Gideon 1

For a moment, I thought my mind had decided that it no longer wanted to even try to stay sane. A topless Dureena Nafeel, waving her knife around, promising to bring me Eilerson's beating heart, was positively, absolutely the straw that broke the camel's back.

Not Max with a goatee, not John Matheson's clone and his damn puppy, not a horny and jealous Shadow Vessel, not even the torture session with a few people who wanted to kill me, nor the miniature Galen...

No. I shouldn't blame Dureena-Assassin for almost causing my mind to crack. It was my own fault, as I was trying to use her to protect me. It had been a spur of the moment idea that worked better than I had thought humanly possible.

What frightened me most was how easily I slid into my counterpart's boots. For a moment, I was HIM. I felt the suspicious mental giggle starting, a precursor to a full blown mental crack up. It took me far too long to compose myself, and I sternly chastised my half-naked Assassin.

"Do you think, Assassin, that Max will not notice the fact that you are half-naked? Do you think at all? If Eilerson is killed, I will never discover who is assisting him in his plans. You are a child, and unfortunately all I have to work with. Get dressed and get out of here!"

I turned and looked away from her. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her timidly approach me, and I steeled myself not to respond to her obvious desire for my approval. Both she and my Avatar were starved for the barest hint of affection and understanding.

Is that why Randy bought JT the dog? Because he understood, completely, how much JT craved to have something, anything.... in the universe to care for him?

"I swear to you, my beloved Master, I will not fail you again. I thank you for allowing me this chance..."

"It's the only one you're going to get, and if I had any other options, I wouldn't have given you this chance. Now GO!"

She ran from my quarters, and I hoped that she managed to put her shirt back on before someone saw her. Would ruin my reputation after all. Well maybe not in this universe, but in another.

Matthew Gideon II.

We were jumping like crazy, going further and further away from where I knew Ed was. The crew was getting nervous, but I pretended that I was blithely unconcerned. I had a crazy second in command, two members of my senior staff had tried to rebel against me, and we were on a secret mission.

But Captain Gideon was calm, cool and collected.

John Matheson.

I didn't feel well, and Sarah seemed to be concerned about something.

"John? Come on, you've got to walk. Come on, Eilerson! We've got to get him moving. He's..."

Sarah was rather beautiful when she was concerned, almost as pretty as Dureena was, but I was far too reserved to mention that to either of them. My one hesitant attempt at dating Dureena had been turned down. Completely.

At least Dureena didn't try to knife me, which had happened to Max. It had been funny to see him wearing one of his IPX jackets that had been shredded by Dureena. I laughed, remembering how annoyed Max had been. The doctor was breathtakingly beautiful right then, which meant that she was deeply concerned about something or someone.

You're so beautiful, Sarah. Do you know that? You'd steal the breath away from the hardest of hearts if only you'd smile more.

I wondered who she was worried about. Was it Matthew? It was strange that Matthew hadn't stopped by to see me. It was really odd not to see Matthew. How long had it been since I last saw him? I couldn't remember and I wondered if I should be worried that I couldn't remember. I felt woozy and I berated myself. Where were my shields? I should be shielding right now, else Sarah and Max's thoughts would be thundering in my mind.

Max was next to Sarah and I giggled when I saw that he had a beard.

Sarah's mouth moved and suddenly Max was sitting me up. Something was put to my mouth and I was forced to swallow. It was wet and I was suddenly thirsty. Both Sarah and Max's mouths moved and I wondered why I couldn't hear them. I began shivering uncontrollably and the liquid spilled down my face.

Sarah Chambers, MD.

John was in the beginning of something I could not handle in the middle of a store-room. Sleeper Toxicity. He was lethargic, and immotile. It took a lot of screaming to get him to respond, and when John finally answered either Max or myself, he wasn't quite conscious, alert and oriented to time and place.

His mind was sluggish, and sometimes he would whisper things that I think I wasn't supposed to hear. It was nice to know that he thought I was beautiful, but did he need to say it in front of Max? That was until I found out why Max never wore his favorite IPX jacket anymore.

"She shredded it?" I smirked at Max, the first moderately amusing thing that had happened to me in days, weeks even.

"Yes, the breathtakingly beautiful doctor is quite correct," Max answered tartly.

"Max, he's starting to show signs of sleeper toxicity. If we're in here for much longer, he's going to die."

Max sighed, and he cursed our wayward Captain Matthew Gideon. "How long, Sarah?"

"It will start causing irreparable damage in a few days. Three, four maximum. Then he'll die a few days later. It won't be pretty, as he'll be hallucinating. We'll probably have to restrain him when he starts, else John might hurt us."

Matthew Gideon 1

JT was lying in my bed, and fortunately he was asleep. I crawled into bed, and I just couldn't get to sleep. I tossed, and turned all night long, wondering what the days ahead would bring.

Ed Ryan.
General. Alexander.

They weren't coming. The Big-Haired Centauri decided to stay out of our little war, and they were staying home.

"Emperor Cartagia has decided that it's time for you Terrans to fight your own wars. So sorry, General."

I wanted to kill him, with my bare hands. That sniveling Centauri, Virini, bowed and made his apologies, but as he tried to escape from the room, I wondered if Randy would be insulted if I asked him to kill Virini. Why bother asking, as Randy would just sneer at Virini, and the little Centauri would fall apart. There was a sudden tightness in my chest, a spiritual heaviness on my heart, as I suddenly realized that I would be forever known as the Terran General who had led the last great charge of the Light Brigade.

People still spoke of Pickett's charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, how grand, how glorious... how absolutely... fucking futile. Longstreet had disagreed with it, but nobody wanted to listen. Possibly because they just didn't want to admit that they were marching to their deaths on the green, bloody fields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

"Time to leave, Ed."

Morrison was standing next to me, and I suddenly smiled. I had an idea, a rather gloriously futile idea, but it would promise that I wouldn't only be known as the General who had led the combined forces of Earth to their deaths. Not only would it pay a debt, but it would be... amusing, also. Highly amusing, and I suddenly smiled.

Maggie. I'm coming home, it'll be soon. Please be there for me.

Matthew Gideon 1

I let JT sleep for a little bit longer.

Stretching, I tried to find my inner peace. I would need to be perfectly calm, but even if I wasn't calm, there was nothing but to do and die.

Galen. Please. Take care of my crew for me. Tell John I'm sorry about what happened. There was nothing I could do to prevent it, but I still feel it's my fault.

There would be a few more days until we met up with the Minbari armada, and I hoped that Galen would be able to pull off a miracle.


"You were right, John. They're leaving en masse to protect their home world."

Her voice was cool and composed, but her eyes were dark and full of rage. She would have been attractive, if one thought a bone crest sexy.

The man next to her nodded his head. "You would have done the same thing, to protect your world."

"Our world. You have no home world, except for my own. They have cast you out, pronounced you an outcast and unclean. In their pride, they would not see. In their ignorance, they turned to the Shadows for help. There are none so blind as those that will not see, John. They have killed Dukhat and in their folly, they have destroyed their home world."

"You're right. But I had hoped it wouldn't come to this."

The man was quiet for a moment, and then something walked behind him. It was massive and clothed in an enigmatic encounter suit.

The Minbari female held out her hand to her human lover's to offer him emotional support. She had taken him as a lover unwillingly at first, but the alien behind her had insisted. In time, she had realized that she was... fond... of the human male.

"How will it end?" The man asked softly, not wanting to hear the answer.

"... In Fire..."

Matthew Gideon I

After the midway point between Babylon 5, Earth and our intersection course with the Minbari Armada, the Minbari fleet suddenly split. The Planet killer was still heading toward Earth, but the Minbari were also heading toward Babylon 5.

And there was no way we could stop them.

Sinclair took it well, that the Minbari were going to come back to claim his space station and he vowed that they would pay in blood. I found myself in conference with Ryan often, as he kept explaining things to me over and over, trying to make sure I understood this crazy universe in which I found myself. Who was who, which person I could trust, and who I couldn't. What tactics might give us a fighting chance and what wouldn't.

And so, we were together when the Minbari landed on Babylon 5. Ed watched on the long range scanners, his face expressionless when the defense grid collapsed.

"They've got a traitor with them. Someone who renounced his humanity, and is rumored to be the lover of their leader." Ed laughed softly to himself. "Probably in your universe, he's a goddamn hero."

"What's his name?" I asked.

"John Sheridan, may he rot in the depths of hell."

Jeffrey Sinclair.

They were on my space station, destroying everything that I had worked so hard on. Years of my life, blood, sweat and toil, easily ruined by a few thousand angry Bone Heads.

Garibaldi had fallen, and I hadn't had a chance to grieve. There would be time for that later, perhaps, or maybe not. But for now, I had only a few rag tag survivors left, and we were using guerilla tactics to make our deaths as costly as possible for them.

They were overwhelming my position, screaming in their alien tongue, no doubt wanting my blood.

I had given Dukhat a clean death, but I couldn't hope for the same from them.

My PPG rifle, I angrily threw it one of them hoping that it might hit him. It didn't of course, and soon I found myself being beaten by the Minbari.

"Let me see him," said an oddly musical female voice.

I stared at her, hate in my soul and in my blood, and I cursed her and her race forever more.

She ignored me, and then she held something in her hand. It was another one of those triangles, similar to one that I had held a life-time ago. Delenn of Mir and her human lover approached me with it. She held it reverently, and she placed it on my forehead.

It blazed with an unearthly light, which surprised her and the human who had betrayed his people all those years ago.

"That's it. I'm damn tired of that thing lighting up every time I'm near it. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?" I screamed that at her, when I suddenly looked upon the face of an angel.

Matthew Gideon I.

Ed watched Babylon 5, the last, best hope for humanity, as it was overrun by the Minbari. He was lost in his thoughts, when suddenly Sinclair's face appeared on the screen. Sinclair looked like he had been beaten and dragged for a hundred kilometers.

He was laughing, a bit hysterically, but I suppose that was OK, considering all he had been through.

"Ed! The Minbari have surrendered! Right now, they're telling their fleet to return to their home world! We've WON!"

{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}