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Delenn of Mir and John Sheridan
Chapter 1: Quiet Before the Storm
Tortured. John Sheridan had been tortured both physically and psychologically at the hands of President Clark's men. Susan Ivanova lay in Medlab on Delenn's Minbari war cruiser, dying, and President Clark, God help his blackened soul, had pitted human against human in his own private power war. And John Sheridan, Babylon 5, and his alien allies, up to and including his fiancée and love, Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari Federation, were poised to help him reclaim Earth from its home grown despots.
Having been rescued by Mr. Garibaldi, Dr. Franklin, and Lyta Alexander, reunited with Delenn, cried at the bedside of his second-in-command, and checked over by Delenn's personal physician, John Sheridan was ready for a much-needed rest. He would command the Agamemnon and lead his forces to Earth. If all went well, they would all return. If not, they would see each other again where no shadows fall.
A quiet Minbari female dressed in all white escorted Sheridan to one of the quarters on the large Minbari war cruiser. She was young and kept her head downcast as they made their way through the corridors and up one level via a lift as quiet as the girl herself. Unlike Earth war cruisers, bustling with activity and loud talking; this vessel, like most Minbari, was quiet, reserved, and all about business. Being on the ship, among Delenn's people, gave Sheridan the slightest glimpse into what life was like for Delenn as an acolyte, not so very different than his escort's, probably. But Delenn had grown through experience, heart ache, and war into the quiet storm she was today. There were so many layers to, his Delenn, that John could hardly fathom his good fortune to have the opportunity to unpeel them all over the next twenty years. Even then, he had a feeling there would be so much more to discover. Time. Time was not his friend, but he would make the most of it. By God, he would.
Reaching the room, Sheridan noticed it was the only one on the north side of the hallway. He frowned thinking they'd given him the wrong room. Surely, this wasn't one of their guest quarters. Sheridan opened his mouth to speak, but the young Minbari said, "Captain John Sheridan, you are a welcome guest of the Minbari Federation. May Valen be with you and stand between you and all harm." She bowed deeply, created a triangle with her fingers, and left a stunned Sheridan, mouth agape.
Running his hands through his hair at the odd behavior, Sheridan realized too late, that the woman had forgotten to unlock the room for him. Standing in front of the solid door John cursed, "Hell what am I going to do now?"
"Voice recognition, John J. Sheridan," came the automated voice from somewhere above the door. And the once impenetrable barrier slid silently open. Again, Sheridan frowned but hurried inside before the door closed. This was definitely strange.
John cautiously entered the room and could see absolutely nothing in the incredibly dark quarters. "Lights." The room was suddenly illuminated and Sheridan's jaw nearly dropped from the exquisite sight before him. The room was massive, double the size of his captain's quarters back on Babylon 5, maybe more. Brightly colored crystals, candles abounded, and the scent, damn it was so sweet and alluring, reminded him of . . . He smiled knowingly.
"Delenn's quarters," he said. "I should have known."
John looked around, feeling suddenly comfortable. He moved into her bedroom and let his eyes roam, soaking her in, wishing she was there with him. But he knew she wouldn't come, at least not for a while, preferring to give him time to sort out his emotions; emotions too raw to think about; too painful to share. At least not now, later, yes later he would tell her everything, but for now, he wanted to forget. Forget the pain; forget the sense of hopelessness; forget everything except Delenn's face in his mind's eye, keeping him grounded, keeping him whole under the face of the unbearable interrogation.
Sheridan explored the bedroom, making sure to leave everything as he had found them, not wanting to invade Delenn's privacy. He opened a closet by the washroom and smiled. Next to five, petite Minbari robes were his Earthforce uniforms and on the floor were other personal items from his quarters.
"She thinks of everything," Sheridan said smiling. Grabbing a few items from the closet, he made his way to the washroom.
Four hours later, Sheridan awoke, feeling a familiar pull on his heart. "Lights at fifty percent," he said in a hoarse, sleep filled voice. He looked around the room until his eyes focused and settled on a small figure sitting in the corner of the room.
"Watching me sleep, honey. I thought those days were over," grinning that he'd caught her unawares.
Delenn returned the smile, pleased John could find humor in such a dark time. "Do you mind?" she asked, remaining where she was, in the shadow of the room.
"I think whether I mind or not, it would do nothing to dissuade you."
Delenn nodded, acknowledging the truth of his words. She would always watch him sleep, secure of his existence in the universe with each rise and fall of his heart until . . . well, she didn't want to think about that.
"Come closer, honey. I can barely see you so far away," John said, gesturing with his right hand and patting the flat bed. The first thing Sheridan did, after showering, was to find the hidden lever on Delenn's bed and even out the angles. He could manage just fine with the contraption when Delenn was with him, but he'd be damned after making it out of Clark's clutches, to succumb to another torture device.
Delenn quietly rose from the chair and walked slowly towards John. Seeing him in her bed had done something to her, something she couldn't explain and it took her an hour of sitting, watching, and meditating to get it under control. And now he smiled at her with those brilliant eyes and sparkling teeth and her heart lurched.
Sheridan pulled the covers back, sat up, and swung his long legs over the side of the bed and Delenn's heart nearly gave out. "What are you wearing?" she asked, barely above a whisper. Even for Delenn, her voice was low and full of something else, something carnal.
John gave her that brilliant smile again and said, "I found it in the back of the closet. It seemed new and was my size. I assumed you had it made for me."
She stared at him unable to speak and took two steps backwards. Delenn's heart pounded even faster than when she found him sleeping peacefully in her bed, but now he was wide awake and giving her that look. The look he has given her many times over the last few months since the Shan F'al.
Delenn took two more steps back before she realized what she was doing. Her eyes raked over his lean body as he stood, the silk material accentuating his muscled form. She could smell his distinctly male scent mixed with her own and she briefly closed her eyes, inhaling, letting the sensation wash over her like a tide.
Dry m outh and sweaty hands made coherent thoughts difficult. Well that wasn't entirely true, but the thoughts currently running through Delenn's head weren't ones she was willing to share, not even with John. "I . . . I . . . had that specially made for you . . . but we've been so busy I hadn't had the opportunity to give it to you. I didn't know if you would like it, if it was too Minbari for you," she finished, hoping he would understand her apprehension.
"Delenn," Sheridan said, closing some of the distance between them, "I think it's wonderful. Admittedly," he said, looking down at the long robe, "I wouldn't normally entertain the idea of wearing, for all intents and purposes, a dress, but when I saw it next to your clothing, I thought 'why not.'"
Catching her appreciative eyes, Sheridan moved even closer and asked in a sensual voice, "Do you like this robe on me, Delenn?" He could almost hear her swallow as she nervously lowered her eyes before speaking.
"Yes . . . very much," she admitted, raising her emerald orbs to look into his own, and what he saw there made his own heart quicken along with his pulse. For several seconds they just stood there, looking into each other's eyes, seeing their desire echoed in the others. Then Delenn slowly raised her hands and touched John's chest. She played with the soft material of the robe, allowing her fingers to roam his body like she did during the pleasure-seeking ritual. And John felt like he was being tortured all over again. However, he had no desire to flee; in fact, we wanted to give in. She could break him with her touch and he wouldn't feel defeated in the least.
"I had no idea," Delenn murmured, more to herself than John.
"No idea of what, Delenn?" John held her left hand over his heart, stalling her caress.
"No idea how . . ." she paused.
"How what?" John asked, pressing, wanting, no needing her to say the words.
Delenn took a deep breath and said in a low, husky tone, "You bring out a different side of me, John. A side I am still trying to understand. Ever since the Shan F'al, things have been . . . different."
"Different, good?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes, of course," she willingly admitted, letting the last of her shyness and apprehension slip away.
Delenn placed her free hand on Sheridan's cheek, gently caressing. He turned into her touch and kissed her palm.
"It's been a long time since the Shan F'al," Deleen said and ran her hand through Sheridan's hair, sending a shiver of pleasure down his body. "A very long time," she added, taking one-step closer and into his arms.
She pulled his head down to hers and whispered, "I haven't been able to keep the touch and taste of your naked body out of my dreams, both waking and sleeping."
These truthful and sensual words were John's undoing. For the past few months, he'd kept a respectable distance from Delenn when he knew things could spiral quickly out of control. There had always been sexual tension between the two, but the Shan F'al had released the floodgates of their built up passion for each other. For one night, he was able to indulge most of his fantasies. Short of the actual sexual act, they did everything their human and Minbari mind could conjure up, discovering pleasure spots they never knew existed.
But they had to wait to complete the other rituals and for him to make her his wife before they could fully consummate their relationship. So, they avoided situations that would tempt them, allow them to give in to their very real need to bond on every possible level. It was frustrating as hell for the both of them but now . . . hell, Delenn just shattered John's last resolve.
Sheridan engulfed Delenn's mouth with his own, pushing her against the back wall until he heard a thud. She was so soft and sweet and Sheridan loved the taste of her tongue in his mouth, exploring, caressing, nipping. Her fingers and nails roughly massaged his scalp, pulling him closer for a deeper kiss. He moaned in her mouth, appreciating her enthusiasm and returning it full measure, sucking and biting.
The kiss was out of control and so were they, hearts racing, body tingling with repressed yearning.
"I've never seen anyone look so sexy in a simple Minbari night robe before, John," Delenn admitted, breaking the kiss to breathe. "I'll have to get you more after we marry," she said, before plundering his mouth again with hard, searching lips.
John growled in pleasure at his aroused Minbari, grabbing her waist and pushing into her soft, pliant body. Damn she felt so good under his mouth, hands, and hips.
"John," she groaned as she felt his hardness press into her through both of their robes.
Wrenching his mouth away from hers and onto her neck, John said, "Hell, honey, I want you so bad. Need you so damn much. Good god, Delenn, you feel sooo good," h e moaned into her ear, exploring hands finding and caressing her breasts through her silk dress.
"I don't think I can stop myself this time. I don't want to stop," John confessed, biting into Delenn's pulsing neck before going lower.
"Then don't," Delenn moaned right when John opened her robe and kissed the top of her cleavage. She relaxed in his embrace, allowing him to claim her as his and grinded out, "Don't stop, John. Please, don't stop."
This was all Sheridan needed to hear. He lifted Delenn off the floor and quickly turned towards the bed. He laid her gently on the flattened bed and joined her, eager to make both of their dreams come true. She wrapped both arms around Sheridan's neck and pulled him in for another deep, passionate kiss. She couldn't get enough of him and his body felt so irresistible over top of her own. He was hard every place she soft and it was his hardness that sent the Minbari hurling down the abyss of anticipation.
Since becoming engaged, the couple discovered that being too close was a recipe for disaster or rather temptation. Late night vids in John's quarters with Delenn snuggled up against his chest ended with more action and excitement taking place on the couch than on the screen. Vids were definitely out. John had taken it upon himself to teach Delenn how to dance. He really only knew how to slow dance from all those military balls as a young man he was forced to attend. So, slow dancing it was. Slow dancing in Delenn's quarters surrounded by nothing but candlelight, Bach, and two bodies throbbing to the beat of the music. Bach couldn't compete and the music and dancing were soon forgotten. Slow dancing was a l s o out. So, the stress of the Minbari Civil War, Clark's martial law, the inevitable battle for Earth and Mars, and culturally imposed abstinence weighed heavily on John and Delenn. Which explains why they now attacked each other like two ravenous sharks of prey.
Delenn furiously yanked at John's robe as he did hers, neither wanting to wait one more minute to make their union of mind and soul complete. Just as the garments were nearly discarded and beautiful bodies revealed a buzz echoed through the chamber like a fire drill in school, intrusive, inconvenient, but wholly predictable.
"What the hell is that?" John asked angrily, looking around the room for the offending device.
The buzzer went off once more and an equally flustered Delenn said, "Answer. Sound but no visual." A panel John hadn't noticed before moved, revealing a flat screen. It blinked black for a minute then turned blue before he heard, "Incoming message for Captain John Sheridan."
"Relay message for Captain Sheridan," Delenn said, sitting up in bed.
The screen changed once again, showing the Agamemnon, Earthforce's renowned war cruiser. "The crew of the Agamemnon and all other ships are ready and waiting. Upon Captain Sheridan's orders, we will set course for Earth."
"Aw, hell," John cursed, flopping back down on the bed, wanting to hit something for the untimely interruption.
Delenn took a deep breath, feeling the frustration as deeply as John. For once, she wished they were just a man and a woman without the worries of the universe bearing down on them. It was a selfish wish, one she rarely entertained, but when would they have their time. It seems the universe only brought them together to constantly pull them apart, to test their resolve, commitment.
"I'm sorry, Delenn," John finally said, turning on his side to better see her beautiful features.
She touched his cheek with none of the passion she had only a few minutes earlier, but with unguarded love and years of Minbari patience. "We'll have our time, John; if not today, then another. When the universe deems for us to be together, we will." She sighed, not convinced of her own words.
And neither was John. "I'm all for the universe and all, honey, but I like to make my own fate." He smiled at her frowning face, religious caste through and through, at his near blasphemous statement. "As soon as this is over and done with, we're getting married."
He sat up determinedly and cut her off. "We're getting married at the end of this damn war. I'm tired of waiting; tired of going to bed and waking up alone; tired of putting our lives on hold, waiting for the right time. Well, you know what, Delenn, there is no right time unless we make it ourselves."
Delenn couldn't help but smile at her husband-to-be and his entirely human, take-charge attitude. This was what she loved about him, his fire and spirit.
"Okay, honey," he said, making it a statement, not a question.
She nodded her assent and he jumped from the bed, prepared to do battle with whomever stood in his way of freeing Earth and getting back to Delenn.
TO BE CONTINUED.
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