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A Martian Sunset

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    The bar is an old favorite from her MMC academy days. The liquor is good and cheap, homemade in the brewery behind the shop. It was the first place that came to mind when the conference attendees began to drone on. Too many people who loved the sound of their voices. Too much grandstanding for her taste.  

    She almost felt bad leaving Chrisjen there, but Coytar was with her, along with a very well trained group of Blues who were so on their guard about being on Mars that they took shifts sleeping to guard Chrisjen’s door around the clock. Despite the two MMC marines assigned to do that very thing, and with the full knowledge that Bobbie herself shared the suite to guard Chrisjen at all times.

    Whatever they made of that was anyone’s guess, but she could feel them looking at her, measuring her up, trying to decipher if she was indeed on Earth’s side. Bobbie couldn’t exactly blame them for their weariness, a Martian Blue. It was a contradiction in fucking terms. Then again she wasn’t a Martian anymore. Full Earth citizenship had come along with the blue uniform and her new rank and title, UN Captain Draper Head of UN Security Office for the Secretary-General. She finished her drink and flagged the barkeep for another. She fucking hated that title, a glorified security guard at best, Chrisjen’s lackey on most days.

    She doesn’t complain, doesn’t do much more than grumble whenever Chrisjen is in a mood, and there had been a lot of moods leading up to the summit, but it was better than the alternative. At least Chrisjen trusted her, wanted her around. Her family didn't.  She had dishonored them, so they had disowned her. There was nothing left for her on Mars, Chrisjen Avasarala had given her something to do and a place to call home. It was more than she’d hoped for when she asked for asylum.

   It was a good life, Bobbie reminds herself, the heavy mood was temporary. She was as unnerved by being back home as the blues. Things would settle down once the summit wrapped up at the gala tonight. They’d be onboard the flagship by midnight and then Earth. Home.

   Fuck. Bobbie downed the new drink in one go. No not home, but the closest thing she had.

   As the barkeep filled her glass up a group of loud MMC Marines sat down on either side of her. Her shoulders straighten reflexively, aware that the uniform she wore and her new found infamy. No way to hide that she was a Martian even if fail to recognize her.

   “What do we have here? Another Blue, but doesn’t look like a blue.”

   “A traitor in blue.”

    Bobbie forced herself not to react. There was nothing they could say that her family hadn’t said already, no point in giving them the pleasure of seeing her out of sorts. She dropped some script on the bar and stood. Time to go.

   “I heard about you, we all. Draper, right? You were a good gunnie, too bad you weren’t a good Martian. Guess that’s what happens when you waste all your time around that bitch.”

   Bobbie forced herself to stay calm, “That bitch has a name and a famous one at that. Even jarheads like you ought to know it, savior of the system and all that.”

   “She didn’t save shit. Set Mars back another hundred years and you help her, put us right back under their thumb.”

   “The Secretary-General of Earth is my boss,” Bobbie looked pointedly at the highest ranking jarhead,  “and this got back to yours you’d lose those strips in a second.”

   “Who's gonna tell you?”

   Her hands curled into fists as they surrounded her, five against one, not exactly the best odds, but she’d kick their asses if she had to. A flash of color behind them told she wouldn’t have to, “Nah, they will.”

   The MMCs assigned to Chrisjen had the first guy in cuffs before they fully realized what she meant, Bobbie gave the Lieutenant a mocking salute and stepped around them towards Chrisjen.

   “That was quite a display.”

   She ran out of the summit to get some peace, not surprisingly it only comes now,  in Chrisjen’s sultry voice. “Just doing my job, ma’am.”

   “And here I thought you genuinely liked me.”

   The tone was different, tender instead of teasing, and made Bobbie yearn so much her gut hurt.

   “I do.”

   Bobbie must have let her guard down, her face showing too much because Chrisjen’s hand cups her cheek and there is such softness in those dark eyes. The thumb on her cheek moves back and forth, a delicate caress, open and promising.

   “Now Captain Draper we have to get ready for the gala. You’ll be my escort won’t you Bobbie?”

   Bobbie had agreed to escort Chrisjen to the gala long before the ever arrived on Mars, there was something else behind the question. She looked into that soft gaze again and nodded. “Whenever and wherever you wish.”

  Chrisjen smiled brightly and pulled away.