A/N:Three short vignettes.
Disclaimer: Belongs to the great one, JMS. I am simply playing in his sandbox.
Embrace the Shadow.
The word had still been there, even if everything that went with it was not. Even if she was gone the name remained. Anna Sheridan; married to John. Sometimes the memories would come. Odd emotions would enter her. Revulsion for what she was. But the machine was always in control. Then she would feel the memories slipping away. The feelings replaced with a deep sense of love.
Love for the machine, love of serving. Love of shadows. It was then it had happened. The machine had left her. It had been taken away. The power gone. The machine was gone. Stripped away. She felt a piece of her become severed. Like losing an arm.
She lay curled in a naked ball. Everything was gone, the love was gone, and all reason was gone. Everything was gone. Or so she had thought. One thing remained. Anna Sheridan, married to John Sheridan. John.
They told her she could see him again, the Shadows. They promised she could be who she had been. And they promised the machine. Morden smiled at her his unbreakable smile. She would go. He knew it, she knew it. They knew it. And here he was.
The man Anna loved. And all she yearned for was the machine. The warmth of its living flesh. The cocoon of love, of surety, of the knowledge of who she was. He was looking at her. She tried to smile. He smiled back. An old memory surfaced. John smiling at her. This wasn't his smile. His eyes didn't used to be so dead.
She turned away. He knew. But it didn't matter. They were going home. The machine was calling t her, summoning her bespeaking her to return. To love; to her home.
When he ran she knew. There would be no return if she didn't convince him. Didn't make him believe. A part of her. The part she called Anna, told her John would never believe, never serve. And he wouldn't. The dreams of machine floated away. And Anna, Anna spoke. 'He'll never embrace the shadow.'
But she had. Anna had. Her core suddenly erupted. John was going to kill her, kill him. She didn't want that. She wanted him. She pleaded, though her true self fought her. He jumped away, and as fire overtook her. The Anna part of her crowed. He would never embrace the shadow, then she was sadder. How would never embrace the shadow. Their love would have to abide this border, for she had embraced the shadow and he would not.
Embrace the night.
John set the course. Coriana. "When the long night comes, return to the end of the beginning." He had go there, to Coriana. The beginning of his new life, the end of his old. As the dark reds and blacks of hyperspace surrounded him he sighed. There was so much he had wanted t do, so much he should have done, so many things he had yet to do. But that was not an option. This was the end. This was his long night. And this time he would not wake up.
He had done much, but not enough. He had told Delenn he loved her, but not enough, he should have given more time to them and less to the rest of the galaxy. John the same. He should have told David everything he had always wanted too. Should have expressed his pride more often.
So much he would change if he could. So many he'd had lost over the years. He could make a list if he needed too.
Whole worlds he should have saved.
So many. So very many. So many things he should have done. But that was the past. His long night was coming and he would embrace it. He would say goodbye to his fears, his regrets and embrace the end. Embrace the night.
Embrace the dawn.
Delenn woke. Gathering her self she stood and dressed. Gowned in silver she walked through the compound until she reached a balcony. She stood for a moment gazing at the pre-dawn grey light. At the stars that began to wink out as the sun rose over the horizon. Darkness had gone. Dawn had come.
And with the Dawn came a deep sadness. John was gone. Gone to the place where no shadows fell. Gone into the dark of night, never to return. Her fear overtook her, how would she go on, alone. For twenty years she had not been alone. She had had a companion wherever he was. And now he had gone. Slipped away like night gave way to the dawn. The first warmth touched her.
She shivered at its warmth. And in its embrace she felt the warmth of John's touch the sensation of his being near. The knowledge of his love. She closed her eyes and smiled. His love was in the dawn. And he embraced her, held her, cradled her, and loved her.
She felt the embrace and returned it. And every day she rose and sat in the cold grey before dawn and waited for his touch. Everyday she would embrace the dawn.
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