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'Damn you, Marcus!' the irate Warrior thought to himself. He was slowly growing desperate and frustrated with Marcus' behaviour. All day the Anla’shok had lead him on a merry chase.

This visit, as always when he came to Babylon 5, he had made himself visible enough for Marcus to come to him, and usually Marcus did as soon as he was able to, but not so today. Oh, no. Neroon had barely left security behind when he first caught sight of his Marcus. And what a sight it had been! Still dressed in dark colours like his usual garments, the ones Marcus was wearing today were much more form fitting and accentuating all the right advantages of Marcus' wonderful form without being revealing. In addition to the change in attire, he had done something with his hair, though Neroon wasn’t sure yet if he liked it or not.

Since Marcus had been coming his direction, Neroon had been convinced that Marcus had already been waiting for him and that they would at once head towards some privacy. But although Marcus had come close to him, he hadn't stopped, he had passed him by close enough for Neroon to catch an alluring scent wafting from his beloved and catch a flirtatious glance. Neroon, from experience, understood this look to be an invitation to play and follow Marcus discreetly.

And so, the chase had started. It wasn’t a very difficult chase, since Marcus was strolling through the crowd at a relaxed pace obviously not in a hurry to get anywhere. Of all the things in the universe to be doing, it seemed as if Marcus was window-shopping! The! Nerve! But if Marcus wanted to play, he would go along with it.

Although Marcus’ path across the Zocalo seemed random, he appeared very purposeful when entering one of the many stores. Unobtrusively, Neroon tried to watch what Marcus was doing in the store. The first thing he noticed, was Marcus using his entire repertoire of charm when dealing with the vendor. It was interesting and infuriating to watch it used in such a profane way. He would rather have liked that it be worked *ONLY* on him!

The vendor in the shop seemed unable to cater to Marcus’ wishes since he repeatedly shook his head at the inquiries directed at him. But then Marcus was presented with some kind of dark cloth, which the vendor expertly spread with a flourish. Marcus carefully touched it and let a hand glide over it. Almost instantly, though, Marcus shook his head.

Another cloth, a dark red this time, was spread. Again, Marcus touched it, this time almost with reverence. He stroked it like something living. He let it glide and slide through his hands, an expression of pure pleasure on his face. Finally, Marcus lifted a fold of the cloth, brought it to his nose and inhaled deeply. The smile on Marcus face told Neroon that this fabric agreed with Marcus’ expectations. With a nod and a short exchange of credits Marcus bought the fabric, which Neroon guessed was meant for their bed. It was very hedonistic of Marcus to buy that type of cloth; rich in colour and he guessed also in texture and probably smell. He could hardly wait to experience it for himself!

When Marcus left the small store, Neroon expected him to join him this time. But again, Marcus ignored him and continued his stroll. Their next stop was a shop Neroon knew only too well and which might one day be the death of him: ‘Confiserie Bisous: Finest Swiss Chocolate’. Handmade… Incredibly delicious… Sensuous… Sinful… Delirious. He was weak at the knees just thinking about it. Oh, but his Marcus was really pulling out all the stops for their get together!

Still caught in a haze of such delicious expectations, Neroon almost missed when Marcus continued his ‘secret’ mission. Obviously, Marcus still had something in mind because he crossed the Zocalo at a more determined pace than before, only stopping when he reached a flower shop. There, Marcus bought a single, black rose.

That was just so … So romantic … So Marcus … Though he couldn't remember ever getting a black rose. Marcus had always gifted him with a red rose, a sign of his love. He also knew that a yellow rose meant friendship, as Marcus had extensively informed him about the meaning of several flowers. But there was never mention of a black rose... No matter, he would likely find out the meaning sooner or later.

Again, he followed when Marcus left the Zocalo and headed towards less populated areas. Once they were in one of the more secluded corridors, Neroon sensed his chance and quickened his step to catch up with his beloved. He had been teased enough and finally wanted to greet his beloved. It had been long enough since they had met the last time and after only being able to see his Marcus and not being able to talk to him, to touch him... Oh, but this was torture! He was burning with the need to finally hold Marcus in his arms, burning with desire to make love to him. He couldn't believe the restraint Marcus was displaying! Usually Marcus was even more impatient than he was. Who would have ever thought that his lover would be the patient one for once! Usually, he was infamous for his unpredictable and quick actions.

As Neroon preferred acting to speaking, he used his greater body mass when he had reached Marcus and pushed him against the wall, encircling him tightly with his arms and nuzzled several hot kisses into Marcus’ neck. Then suddenly he found their positions reversed and he was slammed into the wall with much greater force than Marcus should be able to use. Baffled by this, he could only stare at the snarling face before him and the eyes that were blazing with violence.

“What do you think you are doing?” Marcus hissed, his forearm pressing against Neroon’s throat.

“Marcus?” Neroon inquired hesitantly, bewildered.

“Whatever name I may carry, it is not Marcus,” the man before him snarled.

“Hey, what's going on here?!” another man was in his face, also snarling. After giving Neroon the once over, the second man finally spat out in a snide tone “Warrior Caste, what do you want with my mate?”

Distractedly, Neroon noticed that both men appeared to be in their best years and yet they had something timeless about them, something quite ancient and menacing. Suddenly there was the familiar sharp sliding sound of a pike being opened.

“Neroon, what is the matter here?” a very familiar voice asked, which belonged to an equally familiar figure.

“Marcus?” he inquired bewildered, finally looking away from the dangerously intense man still holding an arm across his throat and towards the man in the garments of an Anla'shok.

And suddenly the man that looked like the mirror image of his beloved backed away and chuckled out, “I think I can safely say that I have been 'attacked' in a case of mistaken identity.”

“So it seems. Did you forget to mention that you have a twin brother, my dear Simon?” the other strange man asked.

“Not that I'm aware of. But the similarity is astonishing! Though that attempt at a full beard... Simply barbaric!” Marcus’ doppelganger replied while eyeing Marcus condescendingly.

“Hmm, I don't know. It has its own charm, I have to admit,” the foreign Human with curly hair contemplated.

“Absolutely not, Joseph. I am not a ruffian! I have taste, not to mention certain standards,” the Marcus-look-alike insisted, throwing ‘Joseph’ a contemptuous glare.

“Neroon, don't tell me you thought that was me?! I would never... Look what kind of clothes he's wearing! You should know by now that I usually wear my uniform while on Station,” Marcus suddenly piped in, obviously not in the slightest impressed with the situation.

“Pity.” Neroon murmured under his breath, eliciting a soft chuckle from the Human that didn't look like Marcus, the one apparently called ‘Joseph’.

He stared at the man for a second and received a conspiratorial wink. Slowly Neroon came to the decision that maybe these two men were not Human. They definitely moved more swiftly, had greater strength and obviously their hearing was also more acute compared to Humans. Neroon could clearly see the warning in those slightly violent eyes. Yes, both of those men had something very predatory about them. There was only a slight softening when they regarded each other. He definitely would stay clear of them should their paths ever cross again. Now that he knew what to look for, he would never again mistake this predator with his lovely Marcus.


After Neroon had come to that conclusion and finally gathered his wits again, he stepped over to Marcus, demonstratively putting an arm around his lover's waist. Then he turned towards the strangers, bowing just enough to keep up appearances, and said, “Please excuse my behaviour. I had no intention of attacking you in such a way. Such an act holds absolutely no honour. But considering the circumstances, I believe that my actions may be understandable.”

“Apology accepted,” the dark haired man said, also bowing the merest fraction.

“Yeah, but from now on, keep your hands off my mate. Should something like this ever happen again, I might be less restrained,” curly haired Joseph snarled and Neroon could clearly see the warning in those violent eyes.

“Don't you dare threaten my mate,” Marcus spat at Joseph, moving slightly in front of Neroon in a protective stance, his pike still extended.

Well, that was a new, possessive side of Marcus he hadn’t seen before! Although, Marcus' behaviour was more than foolish considering what Neroon had experienced with those two men. Not even together would they stand a chance fighting them. But still... it was the thought that counted.

“McKay...” there was a definite warning in the calmly spoken name. And after a last snarl McKay was lead away by the Simon person.

“Now as to you, my dear Neroon. It’s going to be you, me and my quarters!” Marcus hissed pulling Neroon along by the wrist.

‘My, my,’ Neroon thought. He could get quite used to his mate's newly discovered forcefulness. It would surely prove to be an interesting experience in their coupling. He was definitely looking forward to that experience!