Title: Reunion Author(s): Anedon Timeframe: Between Horus Heresy and the main 40k Characters: OC´s Notes:This OS is my entry for the OTP Romcom in Space Challenge. Thanks to divapilot for the support and the exelent beta. Just to make it a bit easier to understand for someone who does not know Warhammer 40k. Based on a tabletop game the universe also contains several novels, video games, a few fanmovies and other media. It takes place in the 41th Millenium in which the human Imperium is under constant siege of several different Alien Species and human traitors. Space Marines or Astartes are genetically enhanced humans, who are essentially warrior monks, fighting for the human Imperium. Due to genetic reasons there are no female Space Marines. There are some examples in the lore where Space Marines have developed kind of romantic feelings for normal humans though. I always wanted to write a story about such a romance and thought I could test it out with the challenge. If you want to know more about the setting there is a fairly good wiki for it: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Main_Page Reunion "Captain Seran?" Lucius looked up from his work. "That´s me." He turned around to the General behind him. It was a woman. She looked like she was in her forties but the Captain wasn´t sure. Since the day he had become an Astartes he felt it hard to understand the aging of mortals, though as he looked at her he had to correct his first guess. She was older, probably even as old as he was. He saw the remnants of the operations in her face, the biotech that kept her going for such a long time. "And you are?" he asked her, noticing the Uniform of the 122. Macragge. This woman, a General judging by her medals, had been through the same training academies as he had almost a century ago, before the Ultramarines had recruited him. "General Meia Paxton, 122. Macragge." She answered with the discipline of a daughter of Ultramar. A memory returned to Lucius’s mind, a memory he had almost forgotten about. The Agiselus barracks, the training, when he still had been a human. Lucius blocked the sword aimed at his head and started a series of counterattacks. Meia grinned as she was able to block them all. "Is this all you are able to do, farmboy?" she asked him and Lucius grunted as his frustration grew. He was able to defeat any of the other students during the training. He had been faster and stronger than them, and during the battle training he had always taken a leadership role. But this girl was different: she was at his level, as strong, smart and tough as he was. It was frustrating. He dreamed of becoming a Space Marine one day but could he hope for that if he couldn´t beat a girl? He saw her next attack and made a step backwards to avoid the hit, aiming his own sword at her left leg. Lucius grinned as Meia had to jump back to avoid his attack. She stumbled for a short moment. "It´s enough to beat you," he replied. "Meia?" Captain Seran asked her and she was surprised to hear confusion in his voice. Again she looked at the man who had been her bitter rival during her training. It was him, she was sure of that, but he had changed. Larger than any human in size, his body seemed to be harder and stronger than possible. Meia looked across his bare chest and saw the scars across it, scars of a century of war she knew. She had lived as a soldier for most of her life and considered herself stronger than most humans, but she knew that her strength was nothing compared to the sheer physical power of the Astartes. "Lucius?" she asked him, forgetting the protocol for a moment. She had never expected to see him again. Not since the day the Ultramarines had recruited him. Meia had felt jealous that day, that he was allowed to become one of the emperor’s sons, while it was impossible to her. Because she was a girl. She had lived her whole life trying to prove that she was as capable a soldier as any man and that had led to their rivalry. "It´s been a long time since we trained together," she said, unsure how to talk to him. "I´m glad you are still alive." Meia sat next to Lucius in the training hall. Their fight had lasted for hours but neither of them had been able to beat the other. In the end they had agreed on a draw, as always. It frustrated her. She had trained hard, harder than the others she knew. She had sworn herself to become the best student of her class, but this idiot Lucius was always close to her. Could she really let this farmboy beat her? "You were quite good today, for a girl at least," he said and Meia felt anger inside her. "You too, for a farmboy from Calth," she said. Why was she even spending so much time with him? If he thought she wasn´t as good as he was, Lucius was an arrogant idiot. Lucius smiled a little at Meia´s last comment although he didn´t really know why. They had been rivals in Agiselus but that had been a century ago. A century of blood in which Lucius had traveled through the entire galaxy. He had seen and killed creatures beyond imagination, had experienced the death of entire worlds. Side by side with his brothers he had killed more enemies of the Imperium than he could count. Why did she still mean something to him? "I´m glad, too." he said in a softer voice than usual. "You are a general now?" "Not so bad for a girl?" She grinned. "And you managed to become Captain, that´s quite impressive." Farmboy: the word had always followed Lucius since he had come to Agiselus. He had always felt the others were looking down on him because of it. He had always tried to prove them that he was as capable of becoming a Space Marine as them, he had worked hard for it. But Meia? She humiliated him, as he was not able to beat her. And when she called him farmboy. "One day I will beat you," he told her. She laughed. "In your dreams, maybe." Even Lucius grinned for a second. He hated it when she humiliated him in training and when she laughed at him, but for some reason he always stayed around her. "What are you here for, General?" Lucius suddenly asked her. Meia noticed that he felt uncomfortable, speaking so familiarly with her, with a mortal. It disappointed her a bit. "I wanted to inform you that my regiment is now onboard the transport ships and we are ready for the Warp jump at your command." Lucius nodded. "Well, I don´t see any reason to wait. Inform the crews." For a moment Meia was unsure what to do. A part of her still wanted to talk to Lucius, although she wasn´t sure why. She thought about it for a moment, then she asked, "Would you mind if I stay on board of your flagship during the warp travel? So we could work out a plan for the coming battle." It was an awkward question and Meia knew Lucius would decline it. Space Marines usually kept to themselves. They fought alongside the regular armies but other than that they rarely spent time with them. Lucius’s answer though, surprised her. "As you wish. We will find quarters for you and your staff." She gave him a smile while she sent a short vox message to her ships. Lucius returned to his work and started to clean his chestplate. Meia looked at the massive blue and golden armor and wondered how Lucius looked in it. But she assumed that she would find it out soon enough. "I missed you," she told him, the words escaping her lips. He looked down to her and once again she realized how much larger than a normal human he was. Had she made a mistake? She knew Space Marines followed a harsh lifestyle, based on discipline and faith. Lucius was surprised at these words. He was a Space Marine, an Angel of Death, his whole purpose was to kill the enemies of the Emperor. Why did Meia made him feel so strange? They hadn´t been friends, or had they? He wasn´t sure; they had constantly bickered against each other but otherwise he had enjoyed being around her. She had motivated him to become better, to rise above himself, because he wanted to be better than her. Without her, he knew he wouldn´t have become a Space Marine. He was thankful for that, so could it be wrong for him to like her? She was strong, smart and loyal, a true daughter of Ultramar. He smiled at her. "I´ve missed you too." Meia felt strange at Lucius’s smile. What was wrong with her? Why did he mean so much to her? He had been an arrogant guy who thought less of her because she was a girl, so how could she like him? She remembered how frustrated she had been the day when he had left to become a Space Marine. He she had been disappointed that he would become one of the Emperor’s finest while she could only join the regular army. Or had there been another reason? When she was honest to herself? She had been frustrated because Lucius had left because she had liked him after all. He wasn´t a bad guy and it wasn´t his fault she couldn´t become a Space Marine. She had hoped he would come with her, they could join the army together, rise through the ranks together, be together and if the Emperor wanted it, die together. But it was impossible, she knew. Their ways had been different. She just wished she could tell him. Tell him what she had felt for him, still felt for him. "I loved you, you know?" she told him. Once again her words had escaped her. Lucius again looked at her and she feared he would kill her for this. Had she just told a demigod that she had loved him once? Lucius didn´t know what to say. Meia had loved him? She had liked him too? It had been a century since then but she still seemed to think of him. And when he was honest, he did too; one hundred worlds he had thought of her, often just for a moment, but he had never forgotten her in all this time. This wasn´t right, he knew; he had a duty, a duty to the Imperium, a duty to humanity itself. A duty he had to fulfill. What he wanted didn´t mattered. But it did, it did matter and would it be wrong to like her? He had friends among his brothers as well, not only among his own order. He remembered them for a short moment. Then he laid his chest plate down and turned again to Meia. He saw worries in her eyes, the same worries he had himself. Lucius knelt down, bringing his face closer to hers. What he felt for her was different from friendship he knew, but it was close enough. He laid one of his massive hands on her shoulder. "I loved you too," he admitted quietly. He saw tears in her eyes as she laid her arms around his neck, hugging him. For a moment, they remained this way, the General and the Captain, the Human and the Demigod, the Girl and the Farmboy, Lucius and Meia. For a moment, the differences between them didn´t matter.