This is not my first B5 fic, but my first English one, I translated it myself from French, so please be indulgent and I hope it'll please you…
Special thanks to Evil Shall Giggle, my beta reader, who took much of her time to correct this chapter (and the others). Thousand thanks to her
Chapter 1: the awakening
Minbar, Tuzanor, training centre of the Rangers, 2269
Turval, the old Master of martial arts, was leading a group of people in the wet undergrounds which made the basement of the Rangers' centre. He said to them to wait, and entered in a brightly lit room. In the middle of this room, an open cryogenic unit, and a man of about thirty years lay on a medical bed. He was human, rather tall, and bearded, with black hair. A glass screen surrounded the bed, isolating it from the rest of the room's space. Only the noise of the instruments controlling the cardiac pulsations and the breathing of the patient were the only sounds to be heard...
Turval spoke to the Minbari doctor who was in charge of the patient:
"How is his condition?" he asked.
"He will awake soon," the doctor replied, "this new technique has functioned well and restored his vital force…"
The doctor went out and spoke with some of the group of people who had followed Turval. A child slipped out of the small crowd and went to place himself in front of the glass which isolated the bed. Turval rested a hand on his shoulder, and said to him, "Look at him, child."
The child raised his green eyes on the old Master, and smiled. At this point in time the man on the bed moved, then opened his eyes. The child smiled widely and said "Hello, Marcus."
Turval left the room to call the rest of the group, and they entered. John Sheridan, one of them, exclaimed, "David! Why did you leave alone?"
The boy did not answer, but threw a glance on his mother, who was on his other side. She posed a hand on his shoulder and smiled to him. The man called Marcus tried to rise on an elbow, but fell down. The doctor scanned him, and said, "His constants are up, but he needs rest, you can enter and see him."
The tight door opened on the glass, and the child entered first, followed by his parents.
"Where am I?" Marcus stammered, "Susan…?"
Delenn smiled, "She survived, extremely fortunately, but we found you just in time and put you in cryogenics... You are on Minbar now."
Marcus gave a weak smile, and asked, "We won?"
Sheridan answered at his turn, "Yes, we won."
Marcus' eyes darkened, seeming to remember something
"I deserve worse than death," he murmured, "I gave you up in the middle of the combat…"
"You did it for her," Sheridan replied, carefully choosing his words, "I would have done the same thing in your place."
He glanced over at Delenn, catching her eye with a small smile. Turning back to Marcus, he said, "But we will see to that later."
Marcus spoke again, seeing and speaking to David, "I do not have the honour to know you..."
The child smiled and said proudly, "I am David Sheridan, I am six years old."
Marcus' eyes widened, "Six years? How long did I stay in cryogenics?"
Delenn and Sheridan looked at each other uneasily. Delenn spoke first, "In fact... eight years..."
Marcus sat up and exclaimed, "Eight years? All this time?"
Delenn tried to calm him down by speaking kindly, "It was necessary to find the means of returning your vital force to you, and they only found it very recently..." she smiled slightly, "But you are alive, that is all that counts... We will explain everything to you in time."
Marcus agreed. He was completely lost, and put back his head on his pillow with a sigh. Delenn, Sheridan, David and Turval left. Once in the corridor, Delenn said, "We had to expect that, he is lost... the world changed much around him."
Turval agreed, and the small voice of David piped up, "Then it is him, Marcus, the man you told me about so often? I imagined him taller…"
Sheridan tenderly ruffled his son's hair, and smiled at him. "Yes, my son, it is Marcus... I believe you will get along well with him."
The boy did not say anything, but remained lost in his thoughts.
In the following days, Marcus recovered slowly. Delenn, who visited him two days later, found him sitting up, his back supported by two pillows. He smiled to her and greeted her as the protocol indicated: "My regards, Entil Z' ha."
Delenn sat down beside the bed, and asked kindly, "Do you feel better?"
Marcus nodded. "Much better, thank you." He paused, and then continued, "Much better than I ever was, I believe. But I do not understand anything any more…"
Delenn remarked the sadness in his eyes. "It is normal," she replied gently, "You have just spent eight years in a bubble. Many things changed, but not our feelings towards you. You remain our friend."
Marcus smiled lightly and bowed as best he could, "Thank you, I'm glad to hear that. Then our fleet finally won...?"
Delenn had a chill, and chose her words carefully. "Yes... just after, Doctor Hobbes found you close to Susan, you were clinically dead but your brain still lived, which made it possible to put to you in cryogenics and to bring you back here, to Minbar. Susan was alive and almost cured..."
Marcus lowered his eyes, and asked, his voice veiled, "Where is she now?"
Delenn knew he wanted the truth, and told it to him, "She is the captain of the EAS Titans, and many are speaking about her as the next chief of the Forces."
Marcus stayed silent a moment, and finally commented, "She made her way, that does not astonish me; she has the shoulders to bear all that..." he paused again, then asked, "And Earth Alliance?"
The moment had come to tell him about the eight years he spent in cryogenics, and she began, but not until she'd taken a deep breath. "There is no more Earth Alliance, it did not survive the war. John has been president of the Interstellar Alliance since the beginning of 2262. It includes the old non-aligned worlds. Rangers are its armed force, they await only you. You will be able to retake your place there, and your experiment will be irreplaceable."
Marcus smiled sadly. "I fear I could not understand anything now."
Delenn insisted, "Nothing changed there, just the White Stars, which were somewhat improved. But I let you choose your destiny now, although you have to know that your place is awaiting you still."
Marcus then asked, "The child I saw last time... is he your son?"
Delenn smiled almost shyly, and Marcus couldn't help but smile as well at the familiar expression "Yes. We married, John and me, just after the end of the war and the creation of the Alliance, and David was born in 2263."
A momentary light appeared in Marcus' dark eyes. "He is adorable," he said.
This time, Delenn laughed. "Do not believe that, he has a strong temper, and he already wants to be a Ranger, at his age!"
As Marcus grinned, Delenn rose gracefully. "You should rest now," she told him, "the doctor said that you could leave briefly tomorrow. We have, for the moment, kept secret the news of your awakening, but, now that we are reassured of your fate, we will see to your destiny."
Marcus remained alone after Delenn's exit. Susan... she was alive, in good health... all he had made, it was for her. At the time, he had been preserving a hope to conquest her heart, but now, eight years later?
Confused in his head and his heart, he decided to sleep a little to recover more quickly…
MORE TO FOLLOW