Disclaimer: Characters and situations are the property of BVE and Village Roadshow. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's notes: Thanks to Selma for letting me solo this one (Eric insisted), and to Rach for the beta by the Eric expert. :) This is a companion piece to 30th Century Blues and takes place directly after Reinforcements from the Future.

21st Century Longing

by Beth Epstein

It's ironic. Whoever said it on Babylon 5 was right: the universe has a sense of humor.

Why did I have to meet the love of my life on the same mission that Wes lost his? Did I say... I did. I've got it bad.

Which is fine, good. Wes would be dancing up and down the halls if it weren't for the fact he's too busy saying goodbye to Jen.

We knew there was a possibility some more mutants might show up. That there'd be a reason for the team to show up again--after all, the Lightspeed Rangers helped us out last year. It kept Wes going.

This time, it's really it.

"You're worried, too," Trip says, sneaking up behind me.

"Yeah," I say, envying him. He'll have Lucas and Katie to help him pull Jen out of it.

"I'll miss you," Trip says.

Oh to be a Xybrian.

I nod, quietly, looking at the ground.

He winks.

I crack a smile.

"So you and Taylor?" Trip asks.

I shrug.

"She's totally into you," Lucas says with a wink.

I grin.

Lucas holds out a hand and we shake. "Take care man."

"You too, Lucas."

I get a bone crunching bear hug from behind.

"Bye, Katie," I say quietly. I'd missed nearly getting the life squeezed out of me. Who knew?

Should've let her do that more when she was here. There's my old friend regret again.

"Ask Taylor out," she whispers.

I nod. "I WILL get her number." I learned my lesson with these four.

Wes always says never make the same mistake twice.

"Eric," she says warningly.

I nod towards Wes. There's one teammate I still have.

"Oh."

"Take care of Jen for me," I say, suddenly. Meaning it.

Trip holds up a Trader Joe bag and winks. "Gotcha covered."

Lucas's morpher beeps--it's Commander Logan, telling them to get their asses moving.

I hug Katie back, shake Trip and Lucas's hands one more time, and move off to a safe distance.

It's ages before Wes joins me.

"You want a couple minutes, Wes?"

Wes just nods.

I head back for the car.

Taylor's waiting for me. "Do you maybe want to go for a drink?"

"Can I get a rain check?" I ask.

She steps back, shocked. "I thought..."

"Taylor, Wes needs me, or I would. Maybe next weekend?" I ask hopefully.

"Dinner."

"Done," I reply.

Alyssa hands me a piece of paper with Taylor's number all ready written on it. Why do I get the feeling I'm not the only one getting pressure from teammates on this one?

Wes comes back, looking lost.

"Come on," I say, "let's see what's playing at the kung fu festival." I bundle him off into the car. Neither of us will admit he's holding off tears--best to get him somewhere more private before the flood gates leak.

The End

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