Title: A Question, With Answers

Pairing: D/L, as usual.

Rating: R.

Warnings: Adultery and angst, obviously. Graphic, somewhat violent sex, and, er, general squickiness. I'm still not sure if it's AU, but for the sake of the poor characters I hope so. It is definitely not consistent with my happily-ever-after ending in Third Rituals.

Note: Totally parasitic on eyeofacat's gorgeous 'Elements of Consolation'. Set vaguely during the fifth season.

Disclaimer: All belongs to JMS.

He could not say that he loved her, and so he would trace the words on her body with his hands, whisper them into the folds of unfamiliar, sensitive skin between her half-human thighs. The words were his soundless moan when he entered her, when she clasped him in agony of pleasure and her sweat soaked his skin.

It was strange to him, that they fit together so perfectly. It was wrong, wrong enough to be an abomination, that all of her was transformed and still their joining was absolute, basic, Minbari. She would scream when he moved in her, a muffled shout in the darkness, and at first he would think it was pain, until he felt what he was doing, what they were doing together.

He belonged to her, body and soul. He had pledged himself to her long ago. If she needed the use of his body in this moment then she would have it, for it belonged to her. There is no more honor, or honor does not matter, and he would stand before her husband/mate in the daytime and not think about the night because the night had already been given, and the night had already begun.

Tell me who you are, she would say.

I am serving you. It was a simple answer, but not enough. Tell me who you are, she would ask, clawing at him, pulling him above her.

Sometimes he would want her to hurt him. He would bare his neck for her to bite, scratch her fingernails hard on his chest. She would mark him with her teeth, for in the day his Ranger's robes would cover him and his marred body would be unseen.

I am a betrayer, he would say, sometimes, because he could only hurt her with words, only hurt her by hurting himself. But that was not the answer, and so she would grab his mouth to silence him and force him to speak his answer against her lips. I am your Ranger. I am yours. I am sworn to you, forever. And then the shock of their coupling would take him, and there would be no answer that he could give.

She would hold him, after, naked skin on naked skin. Sometimes she would sleep, so that he could watch her, before she returned to the world above. Other times she would lie in his arms, her headbone against his chest, and he would ask: who are you?

I am not, she would say. I am not what I am. What I am is not. The scars from her interrogation were still on her wrists, even these years later, but he did not need to be kind. Who are you? he would ask. I am not this, she would answer. I am not what I am doing. I am not what I have done.

Then who are you? he would ask. And she would turn her face into his neck, and whisper something, something soft against his skin, something that she did not want him to understand.

He studied poetry. I will not write a love poem, he wrote, and it will be for you. He would wander the station and look at the stars, and not think about how they looked like her eyes when she looked at him, sometimes.

And then she would send for him, again, and she would be naked when he arrived, and he would cast his robe aside and wrestle her down and ask: who are you?

I am doing this, she would answer, and she would wrap herself around him until the pleasure of being inside her obliterated all thoughts.

Tell me who you are, she would say.

He was nothing, that was the true answer. He was her hand, pleasuring her and bearing her sword. And another answer, equally true: I am what you need. I am your soul.

There was a moment without sin, or, perhaps a moment when all the sins mixed together were so great that it was possible not to feel them. When they would lie together and their fingertips would touch and the only answer would be I am loving you.

He would not say it, though, except in the way his hands moved over her face, except in the motion of his body and the tilt of his eyes. And sometimes he would imagine that he could hear it, could feel it in her hands as they lay together, quiet, in the dark.