|The Measure of a Man
Author: vjs2259 PM
Five times John Sheridan had a drink, and one time he didn't. To be posted in 6 parts. Vignettes from Sheridan's life from the Academy to the Alliance.Rated: Fiction T - English - J. Sheridan - Chapters: 6 - Words: 8,715 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 01-30-11 - Published: 01-17-11 - id: 6661935
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Think where man's glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends."
- William Yeats
"One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time." ~Lady Astor
"John?" Delenn said as she re-entered the bedroom in their new quarters in Tuzanoor. "Oh, there you are!"
John was pulling out drawers and sifting through piles of clothing. It had been a strange and stressful evening; all the formality and ritual of a Minbari homecoming, topped off by their unexpected dinner guest. "I have no idea where they've put anything!" he exclaimed. "Have you seen my pajamas?"
Delenn laughed, a bright sparkling sound that he loved to hear. It had been a good idea to come here; she seemed more relaxed and happy than she'd been on the station. There had been a few moments tonight when she'd seem overwhelmed by something, but he wasn't going to pry. She'd tell him when she was ready.
"Pajamas," Delenn repeated with delight. "I do love that word. Is there a singular form? Pajama? Why does the plural 'pajamas' only refer to pants? You would think those would be the pajama, and pajamas would include a shirt!"
"I have shirts. I even have matching shirts," John groused back, "At least I did." Looked sternly at Delenn, he said in mock threat, "If I can't find them, I won't have anything to wear to bed tonight." A sudden intake of breath betrayed her keen interest in the thought. He watched appreciatively as she glided across the room, her sleek black gown moving on her like a second skin.
"That would be a shame," she said, a slight purr sounding in her voice.
She went over to a rectangular seat at the end of the bed, and touched a hidden latch. It opened with the whisk of unseen hinges and there were their nightclothes. John reached past her to pick up a pair of striped pajama bottoms, deftly managing to run his other hand up her leg, linger to cup her bottom and then continue up to rest briefly on the base of her spine. He smiled to himself as he felt her tremble at his touch. Just a few days ago he'd had to explain the concept of 'goose-flesh', and it had left them both wondering why the raised bumps on human skin were called that.
He quickly stripped to get ready for bed, watching her watching him, as her cheeks alternately flushed and paled, and her eyes grew even brighter than before.
Then, after looking as if she were mentally shaking herself, Delenn started speaking again, "I came looking for you because I wanted to ask you something."
"Yes?" John had also retrieved a light cotton shirt from the container, and was holding it in his hand, eying it thoughtfully and wondering whether it was worth the effort to put it on.
"Tonight, at dinner, when Londo asked for alcoholic spirits..."
He glanced at her questioningly, holding up the shirt, but she shook her head, indicating she was serious in her desire to talk. He lowered the garment, and turned his complete and focused attention on her question.
"Were you disappointed...I mean, do you regret giving up that indulgence? It would be possible to maintain a discreet supply, here in our home, if you would like," Delenn went on earnestly. "It is our home, after all."
John let the shirt drop to the floor, and turned towards her, taking her into his arms in one fluid motion. "Not a chance," he replied as she fitted herself tightly against his bare skin. "I have no desire to see the effect alcohol has on any Minbari, given what I've heard. It's a small thing to give up, a luxury that I'll never miss."
Kissed her lightly on the forehead to emphasize the point, he then began a careful exploration of her face with his lips. She arched her back and tilted her head, allowing him access to her neck and sensitive collarbone area. His heartbeat grew louder in his ears, and her rapid breathing blew faintly across his hair, as he added his final word on the subject. "I don't need anything more intoxicating than you."