Title: Diogene's Lamp
Prompt: #17. Wish I Didn't Love You

Author's Notes: Written for the un_love_you community on LiveJournal. The full prompt set is on my LJ (the link is in my profile if you're interested). Don't hesitate to drop me a note and tell me what you think!


Time was a funny thing. At times, a measurement in years seemed almost too abstract to truly fathom. Minutes could crawl, hours could fly, days could come and go without any mark. What seemed like forever to one person, could be just a mere moment to another.

Years to come stretched forth into the distance, like a plain to a distant horizon. Years behind began to blend together, passing like the brief flicker of a flame, remembered only for their moments, not as a whole.

Delenn had always considered twenty years to be a reasonably long amount of time. But now twenty years seemed to be so cruelly short.

She had often thought about planning a future with John Sheridan. At first she pushed such thoughts aside, unsure if he felt the same way she did. After all, it was unthinkable that any Minbari should love a human.

As it was she was continually surprised by his increasing regard for her, and her own for him.

She could not remember the exact moment she realised that she was in love with John Sheridan, nor the moment she gave up fighting it. She had known that if she went into the chrysalis, her people would find the change difficult to accept. She had expected the humans to find the change equally difficult to understand, and was fully prepared to deal with the repercussions. She had not expected the comfort John had offered, and the willingness he had to treat her like he did anyone else, when her own people refused to acknowledge her.

The irony was not lost on her. To think that she, the one responsible for starting the Earth-Minbari war should fall in love with Starkiller, the only man to destroy a Minbari Warcruiser. There was a symmetry there that appealed to her. She had obeyed the calling of her heart, and it had brought her full circle.

She had thought that their union would restore harmony, and bring life as penance to a conflict that had begun with death. It was, she believed, the ultimate purpose of her choice to become half-human, although she had not known it at the time.

It was fate, she believed, that they should be together. That much she understood and accepted. But what she did not understand is why she had been brought to him, only to have him taken away in so short a time.

Had she not paid enough for her actions in the war?

Everything else she had to give had been sacrificed to amend that one mistake. She too had lost a great deal in the war, and it had been grief, not malice that guided her decision. Was that not atonement enough?

When the Vorlon inquisitor had tested her he had asked who she was. She had not known then, but Delenn knew now that she was nothing if he was not there. Delenn herself was irrelevant, it was simply a name, but the woman who he saw when he looked at her meant everything.

He had deemed her worthy based on her willingness to sacrifice herself for John.

Not for the first time she doubted the infallibility of the Vorlons. For all their years of wisdom and knowledge, the Vorlons did not seem to understand love. Sebastian had considered self-sacrifice the deciding factor. To be willing to die alone, not for glory, nor honour, but out of love.

But sacrificing herself from him was all too easy. If she had been any less brave she would have wished she didn't love him. For Delenn, the hardest thing of all was not knowing that she would die for him, but knowing that she would have to watch him die.